Context: Appendiceal adenomas and low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasms (LAMNs) confined to the appendix are cured by appendectomy. However, involvement of the proximal margin raises concern for residual disease. Some patients with a positive margin at appendectomy undergo cecal resection to eliminate a perceived risk for tumor recurrence or dissemination, although that likelihood is assumed rather than demonstrated.
Objective: To determine whether involvement of the proximal appendiceal resection margin by adenoma or LAMN is a risk factor for local development of recurrence or pseudomyxoma peritonei.
Design: Appendiceal adenomas and LAMNs confined to the appendix were considered for the study if they showed neoplasia or dissecting mucin at the proximal margin. The presence or absence of residual tumor in cecal resections was determined. Follow-up data were obtained from clinical records.
Results: Sixteen patients (14 female, 2 male) with LAMN (n = 15) or adenoma (n = 1) and an involved proximal resection margin were identified, including 9 with neoplastic epithelium within the lumen and 7 with acellular mucin in the appendiceal wall at the margin. Six patients underwent cecal resection and the others were nonsurgically followed. No cecal resection had residual neoplasia. No patient developed recurrence or pseudomyxoma peritonei (mean follow-up, 4.7 years).
Conclusions: In patients with LAMNs confined to the appendix, involvement of the appendectomy margin by neoplastic epithelium or acellular mucin does not predict recurrence of disease, even without further surgery. A conservative approach to managing these patients can be justified.