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Gallbladder Pathology Online

Pathology of Papillary Adenocarcinoma of the Gallbladder

Dr Sampurna Roy MD  


Papillary adenocarcinoma consists of predominantly fibrovascular stalks lined by malignant epithelial cells, and it often produces mucin in the gallbladder.

Microscopic features:


The papillary adenocarcinoma  consists of branching fibrovascular stalks lined by atypical cuboidal or columnar cells.

Papillary carcinomas tend to fill the lumen of the gallbladder before invading the gallbladder wall. 

The invading portion of the tumour forms tubular structures rather than papillae. Both patterns may be seen in metastatic deposits.

Prognosis: Metastatic lesions in the liver and regional lymph nodes are rarely noted with this tumour.

Therefore, papillary adenocarcinoma has a better prognosis than other variants.


Further reading:

Combined hepato-cholangiocarcinoma arising in a gallbladder intracystic papillary neoplasm. A new view on so-called "hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the gallbladder".

Gallbladder cancers: associated conditions, histological types, prognosis, and prevention.

Gallbladder carcinoma: An attempt of WHO histological classification on fine needle aspiration material.

Intrahepatic biliary intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm with gallbladder agenesis: case report.

A case of huge papillary adenocarcinoma of the gallbladder with marked necrosis.

A case in which a mucin-producing papillary adenocarcinoma of the gallbladder was resected.

Biliary findings assist in predicting enlargement of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas.

Intracholecystic papillary-tubular neoplasms (ICPN) of the gallbladder (neoplastic polyps, adenomas, and papillary neoplasms that are ≥1.0 cm): clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical analysis of 123 cases.

Extrapancreatic tumors in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm of the pancreas.

Protease-activating-receptor-2 is frequently expressed in papillary adenocarcinoma of the gallbladder.

Papillary tumor of the gallbladder: the clear cells carcinoma.

Gallbladder carcinoma: radiologic-pathologic correlation. RadioGraphics 2001; 21:295 -314.

World Health Organization classification of tumors: pathology and genetics of tumours of the digestive system. Lyon, France: IARC, 2000; 204-217.

Tumors of the gallbladder and extrahepatic bile ducts. Atlas of tumor pathology, fasc 22, ser 2. Washington, DC: Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, 1986.




Dr  Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)









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