Background: The aim of the study was to evaluate the role of human epididymal secretory protein (HE4), cancer antigen 125 (CA125), and the Risk of Ovarian Malignancy Algorithm (ROMA) in diagnosing benign pelvic masses in premenopausal women.
Methods: Serum was collected from 391 premenopausal women with benign pelvic mass prior to surgery and from 45 healthy individuals. Serum HE4 and CA125 levels and ROMA scores were evaluated separately.
Results: Among the 391 women with benign pelvic mass, 2.3% (9/391) had elevated HE4 levels (> 70 pmol/L), while 37.1% (145/391) had elevated CA125 levels (> 35 U/mL) (p < 0001). Endometriosis provided false-positive results for CA125 levels in more than half of the cases but resulted in no significant change for HE4 level. In 13 gravid women with a mass, 30.8% (4/13) and 38.5% (5/13) had elevated HE4 and CA125 levels, respectively; however, the difference was not significant (p > 0.05). Moreover, serum levels and patient percentages for CA125 elevation significantly increased with increase in mass diameter, whereas those for HE4 did not.
Conclusions: CA125 elevation showed random results for benign pelvic masses, while HE4 elevation showed a higher specificity. Thus, serum HE4 testing is a better approach than CA125 testing for diagnosing benign pelvic masses in premenopausal women.