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Pancreatology. 2004;4(6):533-7; discussion 537-8. Epub 2004 Aug 30.

Pancreatic hamartoma.

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Department of Surgery, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, UK.


Pancreatic hamartoma is a rare benign lesion and may be mistaken for a malignancy, as demonstrated by two cases. The first case was a 29-year-old man who presented with a 7-month history of intermittent upper abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and a 15-kg weight loss. CT and MRI revealed a mass in the head of the pancreas. The second case was a 62-year-old man who presented with a 2-year history of intermittent abdominal pain, vomiting and a 25-kg weight loss. Although positron emission tomography was normal, CT revealed thickening of the duodenal wall and endoluminal ultrasonography revealed a tumour in the head of the pancreas. Both patients recovered from uneventful Kausch-Whipple pancreatoduodenectomy (in the first patient, it was pylorus-preserving), and in each case the histological diagnosis was hamartoma. Pancreatic hamartoma can present with vague, non-specific symptoms which, despite modern diagnostic tools, can be difficult to diagnose. Surgical resection with histopathological examination is required to confirm the diagnosis.

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