Abdominal Imaging

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 331–341 | Cite as

Incidentally detected cystic lesions of the pancreas on CT: review of literature and management suggestions

  • Atif ZaheerEmail author
  • Sajal S. Pokharel
  • Christopher Wolfgang
  • Elliot K. Fishman
  • Karen M. Horton



To facilitate a better understanding of incidentally noted cystic pancreatic lesions, since these lesions often pose a challenge regarding appropriate management.


This article reviews pathophysiology, prevalence, significance, and recommendations for management of the various pancreatic cystic lesions. Illustrative cases are demonstrated.


Diagnostic benign lesions can be left alone. Cross-sectional imaging can be used to follow-up benign appearing lesions and to stage more aggressive ones. Endoscopic ultrasound with fine needle aspiration and cyst fluid analysis can be performed on certain indeterminate lesions. Lesions with high malignant potential should undergo resection.


A better understanding of the variety of incidentally detected pancreatic cystic lesions can help direct appropriate management.


Pancreas Cystic lesion Pancreatic cyst IPMN Imaging Management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atif Zaheer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sajal S. Pokharel
    • 1
  • Christopher Wolfgang
    • 2
  • Elliot K. Fishman
    • 1
  • Karen M. Horton
    • 1
  1. 1.Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological ScienceJohns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryJohns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA

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