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Gut Liver. 2015 Sep 23;9(5):571-89. doi: 10.5009/gnl15063.

Prevalence, Diagnosis and Management of Pancreatic Cystic Neoplasms: Current Status and Future Directions.

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Yale Center for Pancreatic Diseases, Interventional Endoscopy, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Cystic neoplasms of the pancreas are found with increasing prevalence, especially in elderly asymptomatic individuals. Although the overall risk of malignancy is very low, the presence of these pancreatic cysts is associated with a large degree of anxiety and further medical investigation due to concerns about malignancy. This review discusses the different cystic neoplasms of the pancreas and reports diagnostic strategies based on clinical features and imaging data. Surgical and nonsurgical management of the most common cystic neoplasms, based on the recently revised Sendai guidelines, is also discussed, with special reference to intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN; particularly the branch duct variant), which is the lesion most frequently identified incidentally. IPMN pathology, its risk for development into pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, the pros and cons of current guidelines for management, and the potential role of endoscopic ultrasound in determining cancer risk are discussed. Finally, surgical treatment, strategies for surveillance of pancreatic cysts, and possible future directions are discussed.


Cyst fluid; Endoscopic ultrasound; Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm; Pancreatic cyst

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