Adenocarcinoma of the appendix

Dr Dan J Bell and Dr Bruno Di Muzio et al.

Adenocarcinoma of the appendix, also referred to as nonmucinous adenocarcinoma of the appendix, is an uncommon type of appendiceal epithelial neoplasm. Different from the appendiceal mucinous neoplasms, these tumours share similar epidemiology and pathology with colorectal adenocarcinoma.

As colorectal cancer, these tumours commonly occur in elderly patients, often in the 6th decade of life 1

Appendicitis due to a tumoral obstruction of the appendix is a typical presentation (in 70% of cases 2).

These tumours differ from polyps and adenomas, which are confined to the mucosal layer and do not invade the muscularis mucosae but are thought to arise from adenomas in virtually all cases 2. They are classified as well, moderately, and poorly differentiated 1.

Cross-sectional imaging usually shows an ill-defined soft tissue mass in the appendix, which can invade adjacent structures 3.

The appearance of appendiceal adenocarcinoma with early obstruction is typically that of appendicitis, consisting of a thickened, inflamed appendix with non-filling with contrast material and periappendiceal fat stranding 2-3.

Appendiceal cystadenocarcinoma can present as an appendiceal mucocele 2.

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Article information

rID: 54970
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Nonmucinous adenocarcinoma of the appendix
  • Nonmucinous adenocarcinomas of the appendix
  • Appendiceal adenocarcinomas
  • Adenocarcinomas of the appendix

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