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Chir Ital. 2006 Mar-Apr;58(2):235-45.

[Solid pseudopapillary tumor of the pancreas. A report of 3 cases and a review of the literature].

[Article in Italian]

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  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche.


Solid pseudopapillary tumours of the pancreas (SPTP) are a distinct clinico-pathological entity that differs from the other cystic pancreatic neoplasms in the young age of onset, the almost exclusive incidence in the female sex and the low degree of malignancy. SPTP is a rare neoplasm that has shown a progressive increase of incidence, passing from 0.17%-2.7% of all exocrine tumours of the pancreas in the 1980's, to 6% in recent reports in 2003. In addition, it accounts for about 5% of cystic neoplasms of the pancreas. With the present paper, in the world literature, updated to August 2005, 887 cases have been described in 248 articles. The histogenesis of these epithelial neoplasms remains uncertain though it is likely that they originate from pluripotent immature pancreatic cells. The tumour is generally of large size and invariably presents a capsule. The diagnosis in most cases is based on compressive symptoms, pain or finding of a palpable mass, while in about 20% of the patients the finding is occasional during abdominal imaging performed for other pathologies. CT and MR are not always sufficient to differentiate with certainty between this type of tumour and other cystic neoplasms of the pancreas such as pseudocysts, parasitic cysts and congenital cysts. Cytological examination in most cases permits the diagnosis of SPTP. The malignancy of these neoplasms is attenuated and local with capsular invasion, lymp-node spread and, only rarely, liver and peritoneal metastases. The surgical treatment has to be radical since the malignancy can only be defined by postoperative histological examination. The treatment consists of three possible options: duodenocephalopancreatectomy, intermediate pancreatectomy, and distal pancreatectomy with or without splenectomy. Intraoperative histological examination is mandatory for the diagnostic confirmation and for the evaluation of negativity of the pancreatic resection margins. Survival after radical resection is excellent. Moreover, in forma metastasizing to the liver an aggressive attitude may be still curative and assure longer survival. The Authors report their experience with three female patients with an average age 18 years (28,19 and 8 years) operated on between 1995 and 2000 for SPTP. Two of the patients were asymptomatic and the finding of the tumour was occasional. The third patient presented jaundice and abdominal pain. The average diameter of the tumours was 6 cm (4, 7 and 7 cm). In all three cases tumour marker values (CEA, Ca19-9, alphaFP) were normal. Only in one case was the preoperative diagnosis correct. The surgical treatment depended on the location of the neoplasms: for the two tumours in the head, in one case an enucleoresection was performed in relation to an exophytic location, while, in the other, a duodenocephalopancreatectomy was performed. In the somatopancreatic tumour a distal splenopancreatectomy was performed. Only in one case (the DCP) the capsule and the surrounding parenchyma were infiltreted by neoplasm. In all cases there was immunohistochemical positivity for alpha1-antitrypsin and for neuron-specific enolase. Neither mortality nor operative morbidity were observed. Follow-up with CT found no relapses in any of the three patients after 5, 7 and 10 years, respectively, after the operation.

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