The Unusual Suspects of the Pancreas—Understanding Pancreatic Acinar Cell Carcinomas and Adenomas

  • Andreas Minh Luu
  • Tim FahlbuschEmail author
  • Johanna Munding
  • Waldemar Uhl
  • Chris Braumann
Original Research



Acinar cell carcinomas (ACC) and adenomas (ACA) of the pancreas are rare entities. Sufficient knowledge about occurrence and prognosis is scarce.


A retrospective chart review of our database was performed for all patients who had undergone pancreatic surgery between 2006 and 2018. Results were compared to recent literature findings.


Nine patients were diagnosed with ACC and four patients with ACA of the pancreas in the study period. ACC patients were older and more often male than patients of the ACA group. ACC were mainly localized in the pancreatic head, whereas ACA were more often found in the distal pancreas. Tumor markers are not necessarily elevated, even in case of malignancy.


ACC and ACA are very rare pancreatic tumors. Both entities account for less than 1% of all pancreatic neoplasms. Diagnosis is challenging due to unspecific radiologic features and clinical symptoms. Nevertheless, a patient complaining of abdominal discomfort and an unclear hypodense pancreatic lesion should undergo surgical exploration.


Acinar cell adenoma Acinar cell carcinoma Pancreatic tumor Pancreatic surgery Pancreatic carcinoma 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Minh Luu
    • 1
  • Tim Fahlbusch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Johanna Munding
    • 2
  • Waldemar Uhl
    • 1
  • Chris Braumann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General and Visceral Surgery, St. Josef-Hospital, University HospitalRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Berufsgenossenschaftliches Universitätsklinikum BergmannsheilRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany

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