Ovary tumor
Serous tumors
Serous micropapillary carcinoma


Authors: Shahrzad Ehdaivand, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 19 May 2016, last major update June 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed search: Serous micropapillary carcinoma
Definition / General
  • Also called low grade serous carcinoma
  • Behaves like low-grade adenocarcinoma; appear to be derived from serous borderline tumor or adenofibroma
  • Recurs as classic serous carcinoma
  • 10 year survival is 70% vs. ~100% for borderline tumors
  • Invasive if destructive infiltrative growth; most are non-invasive
Prognostic Factors
  • Survival: dependent on stage and invasiveness of implants
  • Stage I invasive or noninvasive has 100% disease free survival
  • Stage II / III noninvasive or invasive with noninvasive implants has 80% disease free survival
  • Stage II / III noninvasive with invasive implants has 55% 10 year survival
  • Stage II / III invasive with invasive implants has 45% 10 year survival
Micro Description
  • Filigree or cribriform pattern:
    • Filigree pattern of small, uniform, elongated, stroma-poor or stroma-free papillae, at least five times as long as wide, arising directly in a nonhierarchical fashion from large fibrotic, edematous, or myxoid papillary stalks or from cyst walls
    • Or a cribriform pattern of epithelial cells lining the stalks or cyst walls
    • Or both; either or both patterns should be present on a confluent area at least 5 mm in greatest dimension on at least one slide; occasionally also have large macropapillae

  • Noninvasive:
    • Numerous delicate micropapillae (length > 5x width) with no / rare fibrovascular cores
    • Radiates in "medusa" nonhierarchical branching pattern from thick fibrous stalks
    • May be cribriform due to fusion
    • Micropapillae are covered by cuboidal / columnar cells with minimal cytoplasm, variable psammoma bodies, no cilia, no / rare mitotic figures
    • More recurrences but similar survival as serous borderline tumors (Am J Surg Pathol 2002;26:1129)

  • Invasive:
    • By definition, has destructive infiltrative growth
    • Invasive areas may be > 3 mm or larger
    • Stromal invasion is characterized by micropapillae and solid epithelial nests surrounded by a cleft or space and fibroblastic stroma
    • May also have noninvasive component
    • Variable psammoma bodies
    • Rarely mitotic figures or atypical mitotic figures
    • Macropapillary component may signify invasive disease (Am J Surg Pathol 2008;32:1800)
    • Single cells or small clusters of cells appearing to be in spaces within nonreactive stroma are considered to NOT represent stromal invasion
Micro Images

Images hosted on other servers:

Large fibrovascular core entirely surrounded by long, slender micropapillae

Low grade nuclei


Various images

Molecular / Cytogenetics Description
  • Chromosomal imbalances intermediate between serous borderline tumors and serous carcinomas (Hum Pathol 2002;33:47)