Fallopian tubes & broad ligament

Fallopian tube epithelial tumors

High grade serous carcinoma



Last author update: 24 November 2019
Last staff update: 29 June 2022

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PubMed Search: Fallopian tube serous carcinoma[title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. High grade serous carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/fallopiantubesserouscarcinoma.html. Accessed January 28th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • High stage with pelvic extension or positive peritoneal cytology
  • To call primary in fallopian tube, should arise from mucosa (endosalpinx), have tubal histologic pattern, involve the lumen, uterus and ovaries must be normal or have foci of malignancy that resemble metastases or independent primaries; if tubal wall is involved, should detect a transition between benign and malignant tubal epithelium
  • 5 year survival: stage 1 - 77%, stage 3 - 20%; usually recur intra-abdominally
  • Associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations; for patients with known mutation or family history of breast or ovarian cancer, should submit entire fallopian tube and ovary for microscopic examination (Am J Surg Pathol 2002;26:171, Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:1283)
  • 50% serous, 25% endometrioid, 20% transitional or undifferentiated
  • Symptoms: vaginal bleeding or discharge (2/3), pain, adnexal mass (triad in 50%); endometrial smear positive in 10%
Gross description
  • Enlarged tube, with solid or papillary tumor filling the lumen
  • Tumors occasionally are primary in the fimbriae
  • 80 - 97% unilateral; hemorrhage, necrosis and cysts common
Gross images

AFIP images
Diffusely enlarged

Diffusely enlarged

Papillary tumor attached to mucosa

Papillary tumor attached to mucosa

Distended lumen

Distended lumen

Solid nodule of tumor

Solid nodule of tumor

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Invasive papillary adenocarcinoma; may resemble ovarian serous adenocarcinoma with complex papillary architecture
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images
Lumen filled with fine papillae

Lumen filled with fine papillae

Desmoplastic stromal response

Desmoplastic stromal response

Undifferentiated component in tubal wall

Undifferentiated component in tubal wall

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