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Pancreatic Cystic Neoplasms in Women: Mucinous Cystic Neoplasms, Serous Cystadenomas, and Solid Pseudopapillary Neoplasms

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Gastrointestinal and Liver Disorders in Women’s Health
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There has been an increase in the detection of incidental pancreatic cysts [PCs] due to broad use of abdominal imaging and improvement in radiological technologies. PCs are of different types, and it can be challenging to make an accurate diagnosis. Mucinous cystic neoplasms [MCNs], serous cystadenomas [SCAs], and solid pseudopapillary neoplasms [SPNs] are the types of PCs primarily or more commonly found in women. Mucinous PCs (including MCNs) and SPNs can become malignant, thus making a correct diagnosis is important. Unfortunately, the natural history of malignant transformation in these lesions is not well studied. Evaluation of PCs consists of cross-sectional imaging (MRI and CT scan), endoscopic ultrasound, and ancillary studies on PC fluid samples. Unfortunately, none of these tests are perfect. It is recommended to resect all symptomatic PCs in surgically fit patients. Based on certain imaging and cytopathology characteristics, incidental mucinous PCs can be either surveyed with serial imaging or referred for surgery. SPNs are usually resected. SCAs are benign and do not require resection or follow-up. Several guidelines have been written for pancreatic cyst management, but differ considerably in recommendations, primarily due to the low quality of available evidence. As such, patients with PCs often require evaluation at a high-volume center with multidisciplinary expertise in PC diagnosis and management.

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Carcinoembryonic antigen


Computed tomography


Endoscopic ultrasound


High-grade dysplasia


Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms


Mucinous cystic neoplasm


Magnetic resonance imaging


Pancreatic cyst


Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor


Serous cystadenoma


Solid pseudopapillary neoplasm


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Singh, H., Khalid, A. (2019). Pancreatic Cystic Neoplasms in Women: Mucinous Cystic Neoplasms, Serous Cystadenomas, and Solid Pseudopapillary Neoplasms. In: Beniwal-Patel, P., Shaker, R. (eds) Gastrointestinal and Liver Disorders in Women’s Health . Springer, Cham.

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