Teratomas in infancy and childhood at Tygerberg Hospital, South Africa, 1973 to 1992

Bezuidenhout J. ; Schneider J.W. ; Hugo F. ; Wessels C. (1997)


Objectives. - To document the childhood teratomas at Tygerberg Hospital and compare the profile with other African series. Design. - Retrospective review of the clinicopathologic features of 43 cases of childhood teratomas. Tumors were classified according to the World Health Organization criteria for germ cell tumors. Setting. - Tygerberg Hospital, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa. Results. - There were 26 mature, 15 immature, and 2 malignant teratomas. The most common sites were the ovaries and the sacrococcygeal region. Testicular teratomas were absent. The female- to-male ratio for black patients was 5.5:1. There was a peak age incidence in the first 4 years of life, with sacrococcygeal teratomas predominating. A second, smaller peak between 12 and 15 years was seen owing to ovarian teratomas. Immature teratomas presented at an earlier age than mature teratomas. The majority of ovarian teratomas occurred in patients of mixed race, whereas the extragonadal teratomas were distributed more evenly among the race groups. In black patients and patients of mixed race mature teratomas predominated, whereas in white patients immature teratomas were most common. Conclusions. - The increased occurrence of teratomas among female patients, the large number of ovarian teratomas, the absence of testicular teratomas, and the low incidence of malignant teratomas correspond to the observations of other African series. Certain differences are apparent among the three race groups, namely, a high ratio of female-to-male patients in the black group, a predominance of ovarian teratomas in the mixed-race and black groups, and a predominance of extragonadal and immature teratomas in the white group.

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