Mesenteric and Retroperitoneal Mucinous Cystic Neoplasms: A Case Series

Benjamin J. Van Treeck, Rachel K. Horton, Hee Eun Lee, Christophe Rosty, Rish K. Pai, Rondell P. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims. Mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCNs) are cystic neoplasms with mucinous epithelium surrounded by ovarian-like stroma. Extraovarian MCN occurring in the liver and pancreas have been well characterized. However, only rare case reports of MCN arising outside of these locations have been reported. MCNs arising in unusual locations should enter the differential diagnosis of mucinous intra-abdominal tumors and must be distinguished from more common mimics. Therefore, we aimed to examine a series of MCNs of the retroperitoneum and mesentery to characterize the clinicopathologic features of this entity. Methods and results. Seven MCNs arising in the abdominal mesentery or retroperitoneum were retrospectively identified. A clinicopathologic, histologic, and immunohistochemical (keratin 7, keratin 19, keratin 20, calretinin, inhibin-α, steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1), estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), PAX8, CDX2, and CD10) analysis was performed. All 7 MCNs were from females with a median age of 41 years old and a median size of 8 cm. All cases demonstrated mucinous with or without concomitant non-mucinous epithelium overlying spindle cell ovarian-like stroma. Luteinized cells were noted. The epithelium was positive for keratin 7 and keratin 19 in all 7 cases, while the stroma expressed ER, PR, and SF-1 in all cases stained. Calretinin was focally positive in the stroma of 3 of 7 cases, while inhibin-α was focally expressed in 5 of 6 cases. Conclusions. These results highlight the clinicopathologic, histologic, and immunophenotypic similarities between MCNs of the mesentery, retroperitoneum, pancreas, and liver. Overlapping features suggest a common histogenesis for all MCNs, which could include periductal fetal mesenchyme, aberrant migration of primordial germ cells, or abnormal differentiation or metaplasia of the embryonic coelomic epithelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-614
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • histogenesis
  • histology
  • immunohistochemistry
  • mucinous cystic neoplasm
  • ovarian-like stroma
  • steroidogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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