, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 640-647

Cystic pancreatic masses: cross-sectional imaging observations and serial follow-up

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Background: We retrospectively reviewed the imaging features of a series of patients with cystic pancreatic masses, the majority of whom underwent imaging surveillance.

Methods: Imaging data from 30 patients with known cystic pancreatic masses were reviewed. Nine patients had surgical and/or cytologic classification. Of the 21 who were not operated on, all underwent serial imaging surveillance. Of these, five had corroborative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and 16 were followed by only computed tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging.

Results: In the nonoperated group, mean follow-up time was 30 months (3–144 months). Two patients demonstrated growth, and the remainder remain stable. In the patients who underwent surgery, invasive carcinoma was found in those with lesions larger than 4 cm, involvement of the main pancreatic duct, or visible solid components on the imaging study. Smaller lesions were benign.

Conclusion: In patients with suspected cystic pancreatic neoplasms, surveillance might be possible if lesions are smaller than 2.5 cm, spare the main pancreatic duct, and demonstrate no solid components.

Received: 8 December 2000/Accepted: 24 January 2001