Fallopian tubes & broad ligament

Fallopian tube tumors

High grade serous carcinoma

Topic Completed: 24 November 2019

Minor changes: 30 December 2020

Copyright: 2002-2021, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

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 October 25th, 2021.
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

Various images

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

AFIP images

Serous papillary adenocarcinoma

Lumen filled with
fine papillae lined
by neoplastic
epithelial cells


Psammoma bodies and
desmoplastic stromal
response due to carcinoma
invasion in tubal wall


Undifferentiated component
in tubal wall contains
solid islands of neoplastic
epithelial cells

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