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Imaging features and pathological evaluation by EUS-FNA enable conservative management in patient of lymphoepithelial cyst of the pancreas: a case report

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Pancreatic lymphoepithelial cysts (LECs) are rare cystic lesions filled with a keratinous substance and lined by squamous epithelium with underlying lymphoid tissue. Because pancreatic LECs are entirely benign, correct preoperative diagnosis is important to avoid unnecessary surgery. However, the imaging features of pancreatic LECs are not specific and preoperative diagnosis has proven difficult. A pancreatic mass was incidentally detected through abdominal ultrasonography in a 63-year-old male presenting without any symptoms. Computed tomography showed an exophytic cystic lesion in the pancreatic head. The lesion had heterogeneous high signal intensity with partial low intensity on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and high signal intensity on diffusion MRI. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) examination showed an encapsulated cystic lesion with relatively homogenous and highly echoic contents. EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) revealed caseous appearance and rare fragments of apparently benign squamous epithelium on a background of keratinous debris, cyst contents, and scattered lymphocytes. We diagnosed a pancreatic LEC and opted for conservative management without surgery. Pathological evaluation based on images obtained through EUS-FNA showed macro- and microscopic features that were critical to determining the management strategy. In conclusion, the imaging and pathological features of pancreatic LECs can inform preoperative diagnosis, which may enable conservative management.

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Correspondence to Takuya Komura.

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Takuya Komura, Takashi Kagaya, Noriaki Orita, Hideo Takayama, Saiho Sugimoto, Yoshiro Asahina, Yuki Hattori, Masashi Nishikawa, Makiko Minami, Atsuhiro Kawashima, Masato Kayahara, Shuichi Kaneko, and Masashi Unoura declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Komura, T., Kagaya, T., Orita, N. et al. Imaging features and pathological evaluation by EUS-FNA enable conservative management in patient of lymphoepithelial cyst of the pancreas: a case report. Clin J Gastroenterol 14, 370–374 (2021).

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