Pathology. 2022 Oct 13:S0031-3025(22)00270-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pathol.2022.08.004. Online ahead of print.
Primary appendiceal adenocarcinoma (APCA), goblet cell adenocarcinoma (GCA), and low/high-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasms (LAMN/HAMN) are distinct entities with overlapping clinical presentation and histomorphology, leading to diagnostic challenges. We retrospectively reviewed our archived cases between 2010 and 2018 for diagnosis reappraisal and comparative analysis using updated terminology and modern parameters. A total of 87 cases (22 APCA, 40 GCA, and 25 LAMN pT≥3) were included. The entire cohort had 49 women and 38 men with a median age of 59.9 (range 26-88) years. There were no statistically significant differences in age and sex among the three groups. Clinically, patients with GCA were more likely to present with acute appendicitis (65%) and more likely to have appendectomy as initial surgery (68%). Both APCA and GCA were more likely to involve the proximal appendix while LAMN was more likely to involve the distal appendix (p<0.05). All APCAs were associated with mucosal precursor lesions, most commonly tubular, tubulovillous, or villous adenoma, flat LAMN/HAMN-pTis mucinous epithelium, or mixed, which correlated with distinct histomorphology, tumour differentiation, and stage. Although polypoid precursor lesions were rare in GCA, a significant proportion of GCA showed crypt atypia associated with neoplastic cells. Immunohistochemically, APCA had more frequent β-catenin nuclear positivity and loss of SATB2 expression (p<0.05). KRAS mutation was more common in APCA than in GCA (8/11 vs 1/7, p<0.01). We further validated the three-tiered grading system (G1, G2, G3) in GCA, which correlated well with tumour stage and patient survival. APCA had worse progression-free and disease-specific survivals than GCA and LAMN (pT≥3) with the latter being relatively indolent even when perforated with peritoneal spread. Our study is the first comprehensive comparison between all three appendiceal neoplasms. We also describe a spectrum of previously under-recognised crypt atypia in GCA, which should trigger a diligent search for GCA if present.