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J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2013 Mar;14(3):185-94. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B1200283.

Pancreatic cystic neoplasms: a review of preoperative diagnosis and management.

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  • 1Department of Hepatobiliary-Pancreatic Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.


Pancreatic cystic neoplasms (PCNs) are a diverse group of neoplasms in the pancreas, and are more increasingly encountered with widespread abdominal screening and improved imaging techniques. The most common types of PCNs are serous cystic neoplasms (SCNs), mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCNs), and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs). Clinicians frequently feel bewildered in the differential diagnosis and subsequent management among the various types of lesions in the pancreas, which may lead to overtreatment or delayed treatment. The current review provides recent developments in the understanding of the three most common types of PCNs, the latest modalities used in preoperative diagnosis and differential diagnosis, as well as the most up to date management. Suggestions for diagnosis and differential diagnosis of SCNs, MCNs, and IPMNs are also provided for young surgeons. Better understanding of these neoplasms is essential for clinicians to make accurate diagnosis and to provide the best management for patients.

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