Gross mucinous multinodular appearance aids in the identification of ovarian metastases in low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasms during intraoperative consultation

Ann Diagn Pathol. 2021 Feb;50:151641. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2020.151641. Epub 2020 Oct 17.


Ovarian metastases of low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasms (LAMNs) show grossly abundant nodular mucous cells, with a gross mucinous multinodular appearance and a histological resemblance to primary ovarian mucinous tumors (POMTs). This study aimed to elucidate the utility of gross features including the gross mucinous multinodular appearance and available clinical information at the time of intraoperative consultation, in distinguishing the ovarian metastases of LAMNs from POMTs or the ovarian metastases of colorectal cancer (CRC). In total, 776 patients with primary ovarian tumor and 68 patients with ovarian metastases underwent intraoperative consultation during 1998-2018. Of the total cases, 4 ovarian metastases of LAMNs, 19 ovarian metastases of CRC, and 50 POMTs (36 borderline tumors and 14 carcinomas) were identified. The gross features including the gross mucinous multinodular appearance were analyzed based on the gross photographs obtained before formalin fixation and the available clinical information collected during intraoperative consultation. The analysis indicated that the ovarian metastases of LAMNs significantly presented with gross mucinous multinodular appearance (4/4 vs. 0/50, P < 0.0001), extraovarian disease (4/4 vs. 2/50, P < 0.0001), ovarian surface involvement (3/4 vs. 2/50, P = 0.0016), and abnormal appendix (4/4 vs. 0/50, P < 0.0001) as compared to POMT. Moreover, the gross mucinous multinodular appearance was a distinguishable feature between the ovarian metastases of LAMNs and ovarian metastases of CRC (4/4 vs. 0/19, P = 0.0001). Based on these results, we proposed an algorithm to diagnose ovarian tumors using the gross mucinous multinodular appearance. Thus, recognizing unique gross features including the gross mucinous multinodular appearance would be useful for both pathologists and surgeons to accurately diagnose ovarian metastases of LAMNs during intraoperative consultation.

Keywords: Intraoperative consultation; Low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm; Macroscopic findings; Ovarian metastasis; Ovarian mucinous tumor.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / diagnosis*
  • Aged
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Intraoperative Care / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading / methods
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Pathologists
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgeons