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Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2003 Apr;5(2):133-40.

Intraductal papillary mucinous tumors of the pancreas.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 110, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Cystic neoplasms of the exocrine pancreas are a small fraction of pancreatic tumors. Within that group of cystic neoplasms, intraductal papillary mucinous tumors (IPMTs) can be distinguished from mucinous cystic neoplasms, serous cystic neoplasms, and pseudopapillary cystic tumors. Awareness of IPMTs has increased since the World Health Organization classified these tumors as its own group in 1996. Because of their favorable prognosis, an extensive diagnostic workup for IPMTs should be performed in patients presenting with cystic lesions of the pancreas. This workup often leads to the diagnosis and the predominant tumor location and size, although the extent of the ductal changes can only be established by histopathology. Surgical resection is the therapy of choice for IPMTs. The type of resection depends upon the extent of the quantitative and qualitative ductal involvement. Total pancreatectomy is currently the treatment for an IPMT that comprises the entire main duct.

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