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Meigs' syndrome

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A syndrome characterised by a solid ovarian tumour, usually a fibroma, accompanied by ascites and hydrothorax. Occurs mainly in elderly women. Pseudo-Meigs' syndrome (a term given by Meigs) is the same as true Meigs' syndrome, except that in the pseudo-Meig’s syndrome the tumor may be in the ovary, tubes, uterus or round ligament.

The first report of this condition involved Dame Mary Page, wife of Sir Gregory Page, Bunhill Fields, England, who died in 1728, in her 56th year. Otto Spiegelberg (1830-1881) in 1866 first described a patient with fibroma, ascites, and hydrothorax, and erroneously concluded that the diagnosis was “ovarian pregnancy.” Next description in 1879 by Charles James Cillingworth (1841-1908). Further descriptions 1887 by Albert Jean Octave Demons (1842-1920) of France, 1892 by Robert Lawson Tait (1845-1899) of England. P. Pascale and Louis Félix Terrier (1837-1908) in 1888 also described incomplete forms of Meigs syndrome. Meigs described the condition in 1934 and, with John W. Cass, in 1937 described it as a syndrome comprising ovarial fibroma, ascites and hydrothorax. Their first report comprised a detailed casuistic of seven cases collected during the years 1901-1934, as well as a principal discussion of the syndrome. The same year, in 1937, J. E. Rhoads and A. W. Terrell described another case, and these authors termed the condition Meigs' syndrome.


  • O. Spiegelberg:
    Fibrom des Eierstockes von Enormer Grösse.
    Monatsschrift für Geburtskunde und Frauenkrankheiten, Berlin, 1866, 28:415-425.
  • O. Spiegelberg:
    Zur Casuistik der Ovarialschwangerschaft.
    Archiv für Gynäkologie, Berlin, 1878, 13: 73-79.
  • C. Cullingworth:
    Fibroma of both ovaries.
    Transactions of the Obstetrical Society of London, 1879, 21:276-288.
  • P. Pascale:
    L’idrotorace nelle cisti del l’ovario.
    Archivio e atti della Società italiana di chirurgia, Naples, 1888, 5: 291.
  • L. F. Terrier:
    Remarques cliniques sur 8 séries de 25 ovariotomies.
    We are uncertain about this entry.
  • R. L. Tait:
    On the occurrence of pleural effusion in association with disease of the abdomen.
    Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, 1892, 75: 109-118.
  • J. V. Meigs:
    Tumors of the female pelvic organs. New York, Macmillan, 1934. Pages 262-263.
  • J. V. Meigs; J. W. Cass:
    Fibroma of the ovary with ascites and hydrothorax, with a report of seven cases.
    American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Louis, 1937, 33: 249-267.
  • J. E. Rhoads and A. W. Terrell:
    Ovarian fibroma with ascites and hydrothorax (Meigs' syndrome).
    The Journal of the American Medical Association, Chicago, 109: 1684-1687.
  • J. V. Meigs, S. H. Armstrong, H. H. Hamilton.
    A further contribution to the syndrome of fibroma of the ovary with fluid in the abdomen and chest: Meig's syndrome.
    American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Louis, 1943, 46: 19-37.
  • J. V. Meigs:
    Fibroma of the ovary with ascites and hydrothorax - Meigs' syndrome.
    American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Louis, 1954, 67: 962-87.
  • J. V. Meigs:
    Pelvic tumors other than fibromas of the ovary with ascites and hydrothorax.
    American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Louis, 1954, 3: 471-486.
  • Olle Kjellgren:
    Gynekologisk cancer. Klinik och terapi. Stockholm, Almqvist & Wiksell, 1967: 1-476.
  • E. Fraisse, P. Poulain, B. Grosbois, G. Priou, Ph. Arvis, J. Y. Grall:
    Le syndrome de Demons-Meigs. A propos d'un cas. Revue de la littérature.
    Revue française de gynécologie et d' obstetrique, Paris, 1984, 79: 579-580.
  • J. Griffin J.
    Dame Mary Page–the first recorded case of Meigs syndrome?
    Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London, 1996, 30 (5): 465.

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