Pancreatic cystic tumours: when to resect, when to observe

June 2010
European Review for Medical & Pharmacological Sciences;2010, Vol. 14 Issue 6, p395
Academic Journal
Background and Objectives: In recent years there has been an increase in the diagnosis of cystic tumors of the pancreas. In this setting, difficult diagnostic problems and different therapeutic management can be proposed. Material and Methods: A review of the literature and authors experience were undertaken. Results: Cystic tumors of the pancreas include different neoplasms with a different biological behaviour. While most serous cystadenomas (SCAs) can be managed nonoperatively, patients with mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCNs), solid pseudopapillary tumors (SPTs), main-duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) should undergo surgical resection. Branch-duct IPMNs can be observed with radiological and clinical follow-up when asymptomatic, < 3 cm in size and without radiologic features of malignancy (i.e. nodules). Conclusions: Cystic tumors of the pancreas are common. Differential diagnosis among the different tumor-types is of paramount importance for appropriate management. Nonoperative management seems appropriate for most SCAs and for well-selected branch-duct IPMNs.


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