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Mark Murdock
Sean Norkus


Teratoma, Radiography, Low back pain


Objective: To describe the finding of an incidental teratoma in a patient receiving care in a chiropractic college outpatient clinic.

Clinical Features: A 25-year-old female had a complaint of chronic mild-to-moderate low back pain that was unresponsive to multiple courses of conservative care. Radiography revealed a calcific abdominal density suggesting a teratoma.

Intervention and Outcome: Referral was made to a gynecologist, who confirmed the presence of teratoma via ultrasound. The patient underwent an oophorectomy. The teratoma diagnosis was also confirmed surgically. At 1-year post-surgery, the patient had only infrequent mild low back pain.

Conclusion: Chiropractors may consider radiography for patients when they fail to respond to care. Some findings, such as calcific densities in females, may be incidental yet important. Patient preference is an integral part of the doctor/patient relationship. When calcific densities are seen in the abdominal cavity of a female, consider teratoma and refer to a gynecologist due to slight risk of malignant degeneration. In this case, after recovery from surgery, the patient reported improvement of her chronic, non-responsive low back pain though its causality remains unknown.


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