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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2011 Oct;135(10):1261-8. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2011-0034-RA.

Mucinous neoplasms of the appendix and peritoneum.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York 10065, USA.



Appendiceal mucinous neoplasms are considered enigmatic tumors of unpredictable biologic potential. Their importance lies in their potential to spread to the peritoneum and viscera in the form of gelatinous mucin deposits. Extra-appendiceal spread of these tumors is the most common etiology of pseudomyxoma peritonei , which is a descriptive term encompassing a number of neoplastic and nonneoplastic peritoneal disorders. Many studies aimed at evaluating the biologic importance of appendiceal mucinous neoplasms and pseudomyxoma peritonei have employed inconsistent histologic criteria for their diagnosis and descriptive terminology for their classification. As a result, appendiceal mucinous neoplasms and associated peritoneal disease represents one of the most confusing and controversial areas in gastrointestinal pathology.


To summarize the literature regarding the biologic potential of appendiceal mucinous neoplasms and pseudomyxoma peritonei and to discuss the similarities and differences between proposed systems for their classification.


Literature review and case-derived material.


Many studies have contributed to an increased understanding of the natural progression of mucinous neoplasms of the appendix and peritoneum, and the adoption of a uniform reporting system, as advocated by the American Joint Committee on Cancer and the World Health Organization, will facilitate clear communication among pathologists and clinical colleagues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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