The classification and nomenclature of appendiceal mucinous neoplasms are controversial. To determine the outcome for patients with appendiceal mucinous neoplasms and further evaluate whether they can be stratified into groups that provide prognostic information, the clinicopathologic features of 116 patients (66 with clinical follow-up) with appendiceal mucinous neoplasms were studied. From a wide variety of histopathologic features assessed, the important predictors that emerged on univariate statistical analysis were presence of extra-appendiceal neoplastic epithelium (P=0.01), high-grade cytology (P<0.0001), architectural complexity (P<0.001), and invasion (P<0.001). Stratification using a combination of these predictors resulted in a 4-tiered classification scheme. All 16 patients with mucinous neoplasms confined to the appendix and lacking high-grade cytology, architectural complexity, and invasion were alive with no recurrences at median 59 months follow-up (=mucinous adenoma). One of 14 patients with low-grade cytology and acellular peritoneal mucin deposits developed recurrent tumor within the peritoneum at 45 months with no patient deaths to date (median, 48-mo follow-up) (=low-grade mucinous neoplasm with low risk of recurrence). None of the 2 patients with acellular peritoneal mucinous deposits outside of the right lower quadrant developed recurrence at 163 and 206 months. Twenty-seven patients with low-grade mucinous neoplasms with extra-appendiceal neoplastic epithelium had 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year overall survival rates of 96%, 91%, 79%, and 46%, respectively, at median 53 months follow-up (=low-grade mucinous neoplasm with high risk of recurrence). Three of the 4 patients with extra-appendiceal epithelium limited to the right lower quadrant developed full-blown peritoneal disease at 6, 41, and 99 months follow-up and 1 patient eventually died of disease. Nine patients with appendiceal neoplasms with invasion or high-grade cytology and follow-up showed 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year overall survival rates of 86%, 57%, and 28% (=mucinous adenocarcinoma). At 10 years, all patients with mucinous adenocarcinoma were either dead or lost to follow-up. Appendiceal mucinous neoplasms can be stratified into 4 distinct risk groups on the basis of a careful histopathologic assessment of cytoarchitectural features and extent of disease at presentation.
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