Oophorectomy in McCune-Albright syndrome: a case of mistaken identity

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Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the incidence of oophorectomy in girls presenting with precocious puberty and vaginal bleeding who are subsequently diagnosed with McCune-Albright syndrome (MAS). Study Design: Medical records of girls diagnosed with MAS between 1988 and 2005 were reviewed. Variables analyzed included presenting features, presence of café au lait macules, presence of fibrous dysplasia, radiographic studies, estradiol levels, tumor markers, surgery, and pathology reports. Results: Nine girls with MAS were identified. Average age at initial presentation was 3.2 ± 2.1 years (range, 0.6-7 years). All patients presented with sudden onset of vaginal bleeding. Eight (88%) also had breast development and 2 (22%) had associated pubic hair. Four (44%) girls underwent salpingo-oophorectomy before the diagnosis of MAS was made. Of these, 3 had café au lait macules on initial presentation, and 3 were later diagnosed with fibrous dysplasia. Surgical pathology revealed benign ovarian cysts in all 4 patients. Conclusion: Unnecessary oophorectomy is common in girls with MAS who are taken to the operating room for a presumed ovarian tumor. This highlights the need for increased awareness of MAS among pediatricians, pediatric surgeons, and emergency room physicians. Distinguishing features, which can be helpful in differentiating these 2 conditions, are often present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1578-1583
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • McCune-Albright syndrome
  • Oophorectomy
  • Ovarian tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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