The genetic alterations of appendiceal carcinomas have not been reported in detail. We studied the clinicopathological factors and genetic alterations including microsatellite instability, p53 overexpression, and mutations of the K-ras proto-oncogene of 30 appendiceal adenocarcinomas, consisting of 23 mucinous and 7 nonmucinous carcinomas. Sixteen (70%) mucinous carcinomas presented with pseudomyxoma peritonei, but 6 of 7 (86%) nonmucinous carcinomas presented with appendicitis (P =.002). All carcinomas were microsatellite stable, and p53 overexpression was present in only 1 of 30 (3%) carcinomas. K-ras mutation was present in 11 of 20 (55%) carcinomas, including 8 of 16 (50%) mucinous and 3 of 4 (75%) nonmucinous carcinomas. The mean survival of patients with mucinous carcinomas was 26 +/- 19 months compared with 13 +/- 9 months for patients with nonmucinous carcinomas (P =.0002). Our findings suggest that mucinous and nonmucinous carcinomas of appendix have similar genetic alterations, but different clinical presentation and prognosis.