Macroscopic and microscopic characteristics of low grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasms (LAMN) on appendectomy specimens and correlations with pseudomyxoma peritonei development risk

Ann Diagn Pathol. 2020 Oct;48:151606. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2020.151606. Epub 2020 Aug 21.


Low grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm (LAMN) is the primary source of pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP). PMP may develop after seemingly complete resection of primary tumor by appendectomy, which is unpredictable due to lack of reliable prognostic indicators. We retrospectively reviewed 154 surgically resected LAMNs to explore if any of the macroscopic and microscopic characteristics may be associated with increasing risk of PMP development. Our major findings include: (1) As compared to those without PMP, the cases that developed PMP were more frequent to have (a) smaller luminal diameter (<1 cm) and thicker wall, separate mucin aggregations, and microscopic perforation/rupture, all suggestive of luminal mucin leakage; (b) microscopic acellular mucin presenting on serosal surface and not being confined to mucosa; and (c) neoplastic epithelium dissecting outward beyond mucosa, however, with similar frequency of neoplastic cells being present in muscularis propria. (2) Involvement of neoplastic cells or/and acellular mucin at surgical margin did not necessarily lead to tumor recurrence or subsequent PMP, and clear margin did not absolutely prevent PMP development. (3) Coexisting diverticulum, resulted from neoplastic or non-neoplastic mucosa being herniated through muscle-lacking vascular hiatus of appendiceal wall, was seen in a quarter of LAMN cases, regardless of PMP. The diverticular portion of tumor involvement was often the weakest point where rupture occurred. In conclusion, proper evaluation of surgical specimens with search for mucin and neoplastic cells on serosa and for microscopic perforation, which are of prognostic significance, should be emphasized.

Keywords: Appendiceal diverticula; Appendiceal mucinous neoplasm; Low grade mucinous appendiceal neoplasm (LAMN); Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP).

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / complications
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / surgery*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / ultrastructure
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Appendectomy / methods*
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diverticulum / etiology
  • Diverticulum / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucins / ultrastructure
  • Neoplasm Grading / methods
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control
  • Pathology, Surgical / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Pseudomyxoma Peritonei / diagnosis
  • Pseudomyxoma Peritonei / etiology
  • Pseudomyxoma Peritonei / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Management
  • Serous Membrane / pathology
  • Serous Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Young Adult


  • Mucins