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Ann Gastroenterol. 2016 Apr-Jun;29(2):155-61. doi: 10.20524/aog.2016.0007.

Cystic lesions of the pancreas.

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Division of Gastroenterology, General Hospital of Athens "G. Gennimatas", Athens (Ioannis Karoumpalis), Ioannina, Greece.
Division of Gastroenterology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina (Dimitrios K. Christodoulou), Greece.


Different types of benign or malignant cystic lesions can be observed in the pancreas. Pancreatic cystic lesions are classified under pathology terms into simple retention cysts, pseudocysts and cystic neoplasms. Mucinous cystic neoplasm is a frequent type of cystic neoplasm and has a malignant potential. Serous cystadenoma follows in frequency and is usually benign. Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms are the most commonly resected cystic pancreatic neoplasms characterized by dilated segments of the main pancreatic duct and/or side branches, the wall of which is covered by mucus secreting cells. These neoplasms can occupy the pancreatic head or any part of the organ. Solid pseudopapillary tumor is rare, has a low tendency for malignancy, and is usually located in the pancreatic body or tail. Endoscopic ultrasound with the use of fine-needle aspiration and cytology permits discrimination of those lesions. In this review, the main characteristics of those lesions are presented, as well as recommendations regarding their follow up and management according to recent guidelines.


Pancreatic cystic tumors; intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia; mucinous cystic neoplasm; pancreatic cysts; serous cystadenoma

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