Primary carcinoma of the fallopian tube : study of 11 cases Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective: Primary fallopian tube carcinoma is a rare tumor that histologically and clinically resembles primary ovarian carcinoma. The purpose of this study was to present the experience of the Soroka Medical Center (SMC), Beer-Sheva, Israel of handling this tumor. Study design: Data from the files of 11 patients with primary fallopian tube carcinoma who were managed at the SMC between January 1978 and December 1998 were evaluated. Results: The mean age of the patients was 59.4 years. Presenting symptoms and signs included abdominal pain, postmenopausal bleeding, watery vaginal discharge and adnexal mass. In all patients, the diagnosis of primary fallopian tube carcinoma was not made preoperatively. In ten patients in whom the adnexal mass was discovered preoperatively it was thought to be an ovarian tumor and in one patient the adnexal mass was first noticed during vaginal hysterectomy. Postoperatively, multi-drug chemotherapy was given to seven patients, multi-drug chemotherapy followed by pelvic radiotherapy to one patient, pelvic radiotherapy followed by single-agent chemotherapy to two patients, and one patient received no further treatment. The actuarial 5-year survival rate was 50%. Conclusions: Fallopian tube carcinoma is rarely suspected preoperatively. The symptom complex of ‘hydrops tubae profluence’, said to be pathognomonic for this tumor, is rarely encountered. The treatment approach is similar to that used for ovarian carcinoma and includes primary surgery comprised of total abdominal hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and staging followed by chemotherapy. The prognosis of patients with primary fallopian tube carcinoma is similar to that of patients with primary ovarian carcinoma.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000