Extrauterine pelvic serous carcinomas: Current update on pathology and cross-sectional imaging findings

Venkata S. Katabathina, Farhan S. Amanullah, Christine O. Menias, Melissa M. Chen, Philip T. Valente, Kedar N. Chintapalli, Srinivasa R. Prasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The spectrum of extrauterine pelvic serous carcinomas includes ovarian serous carcinoma, primary peritoneal serous carcinoma, and primary fallopian tube carcinoma. Ovarian serous carcinoma, the most common ovarian malignant epithelial neoplasm, consists of two distinct entities: high-grade and low-grade serous carcinomas. Primary peritoneal serous carcinoma and primary fallopian tube carcinoma are rare malignancies that share many characteristics of high-grade serous carcinomas. Recent advances in the genetics and molecular biology of gynecologic cancers have suggested a common origin of many extrauterine pelvic serous carcinomas from fallopian tube epithelium.With the exception of low-grade serous carcinomas, which arise from cortical inclusion cysts lined by tubal epithelium, most extrauterine pelvic serous carcinomas are believed to originate from serous tubal intraepithelial carcinomas and show similar clinical-biologic behaviors and natural histories. Indeed, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Committee on Gynecologic Oncology recently recognized that these cancers should be considered collectively, with a common system of staging and management strategies for ovarian, primary peritoneal, and fallopian tube cancers. A paradigm shift has occurred in our understanding of the pathogenesis of extrauterine pelvic serous carcinomas that has the potential to change current strategies for screening, prevention, diagnosis, and management. Ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging, and combined positron emission tomography and CT are pivotal in screening, initial diagnosis, and treatment follow-up; however, because of this paradigm shift, new radiologic techniques, such as contrast material-enhanced US and molecular US imaging, and various optical imaging techniques are being investigated as important screening and diagnostic tools. Because of evolving knowledge of genetic and molecular changes underlying the pathogenesis of extrauterine pelvic serous carcinomas, new targeted therapies are being developed to improve patient prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)918-932
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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