Intraoperative pancreatoscopy with narrow band imaging: a novel method for assessment of resection margins in case of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm



Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) is characterized by intraductal proliferation of neoplastic mucinous cells with a variable extent along the main duct or its branches. The lesion may be continuous or discontinuous. Skip lesions have been described in about 6–19 % of cases. Complete resection without leaving behind any skip lesions is important, to such an extent that many groups suggest even total pancreatectomy, a major and morbid surgery.


A 40 year-male patient with chronic pancreatitis presented with recent-onset diabetes mellitus and weight loss. Ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) scan showed a cystic lesion in the head and uncinate process of pancreas. Peroral pancreatoscopy showed villous projections with dilated tortuous vessel in the head, suspicious of IPMN. The duct beyond pancreatic head could not be visualized and remained unassessed. At pancreatoduodenectomy, pancreatoscopy with narrow band imaging (NBI) was done using flexible pancreatoscope through the cut end of the duct at the neck to assess the duct in the body and tail.


Pancreatoscopy with NBI showed a normal-looking resection margin and a skip lesion 1 cm beyond it. The revised resection margin confirmed the skip lesion on frozen section and also that the fresh cut margin was negative. The remaining duct in the body and tail was normal on pancreatoscopy. Total clearance of the disease could be achieved without a major procedure such as total pancreatectomy.


Intraoperative pancreatoscopy, especially with NBI, is a good diagnostic tool for IPMN and also helps in intraoperative decision-making of the resection margins.

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Dr. Arun Yelamali, Dr. Magnus Jayaraj Mansard, Dr. Rohit Dama, Dr. Pradeep Rebela, Dr. Guduru Venkat Rao, and Dr. Duvvuru Nageshwar Reddy have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Arun Yelamali.

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Yelamali, A., Mansard, M.J., Dama, R. et al. Intraoperative pancreatoscopy with narrow band imaging: a novel method for assessment of resection margins in case of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm. Surg Endosc 26, 3682–3685 (2012).

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  • Pancreatic Duct
  • Resection Margin
  • Main Pancreatic Duct
  • Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm
  • Narrow Band Imaging