Ovarian cysts are common in premenarchal girls: A sonographic study of 101 children 2-12 years old

H. L. Cohen, P. Eisenberg, F. Mandel, J. O. Haller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies of sonograms in premenarchal girls have reported the typical ovary to be homogeneous in echogenicity, with cysts an uncommon finding, particularly in children less than 6 years old. These studies found no macrocysts (cysts >9 mm in greatest length) in patients less than 11 years old. This information contradicts published pathology studies and our sonographic experience. The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of cysts in the ovaries of premenarchal girls. The pelvic sonograms of 101 consecutive premenarchal girls between 2 and 12 years old, without known gynecologic or endocrinologic disease, were prospectively studied. One hundred fifty-five ovaries were adequately imaged in three dimensions. Ovaries were evaluated for the presence or absence of cysts (as defined by sonographic criteria), and the length of the cyst or of the largest cyst, if several were noted, was measured. Cysts were identified in 106 ovaries (68%). Cysts were seen in patients of all ages, particularly in the younger children (2-6 years old). Thirteen of the cysts, noted in 11 patients between 2 and 10 years old, were macrocysts. The typical sonographic appearance of the ovary in premenarchal girls is not homogeneous. Cysts are common in premenarchal girls between 2 and 12 years old and are the cause of the typical heterogeneous image. Macrocysts can be seen in healthy girls less than 11 years old.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-91
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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