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Semin Diagn Pathol. 2004 May;21(2):120-33.

Primary epithelial neoplasms and other epithelial lesions of the appendix (excluding carcinoid tumors).

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  • 1James Homer Wright Pathology Laboratories, Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


Epithelial tumors of the appendix range from low-grade mucosal-based tumors which, when confined to the appendix, have an excellent prognosis but, once outside the appendix, have a fair prognosis and often a prolonged disease course, to high grade invasive carcinomas that are rapidly fatal. Low grade mucinous neoplasms may rupture and spread to the peritoneum as pseudomyxoma peritonei, and the nomenclature of these tumors has been the subject of considerable disagreement among pathologists; the designation "low grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm" has recently been proposed for reasons discussed herein. Demonstrating rupture of these neoplasms may require particularly diligent gross and microscopic evaluation as the rupture site often heals over leaving only subtle evidence of its presence. Invasive adenocarcinomas are often mucinous and may also spread to the peritoneum. Against this backdrop, the clinical and pathologic features of low grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasms and mucinous adenocarcinomas, as well as other types such as typical colorectal type and signet-ring cell type, are reviewed. In addition, emerging entities, serrated polyps and serrated adenomas, whose significance is only beginning to be understood, are considered. Retention cysts, hyperplastic polyps, and diffuse mucosal hyperplasia, although not necessarily neoplastic, are reviewed here as they may enter into the differential diagnosis of appendiceal mucinous neoplasms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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