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J Am Coll Surg. 2019 Oct 28. pii: S1072-7515(19)32137-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2019.09.019. [Epub ahead of print]

Abdominal Imaging of Pancreatic Cysts and Cyst-Associated Pancreatic Cancer in BRCA1/2 Mutation Carriers: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
2
Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA. Electronic address: Jeremy.Sharib@ucsf.edu.
3
University of California San Francisco Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, San Francisco, CA; University of California San Francisco Heller Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA.
4
University of California San Francisco Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, San Francisco, CA.
5
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
6
Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; University of California San Francisco Heller Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Direct-to-consumer BRCA testing will increase BRCA diagnoses and subsequent abdominal imaging. It is unclear whether BRCA carriers are at higher risk of developing pancreatic cysts (PCs) or cyst-associated pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We investigated the prevalence of PCs in BRCA-tested patients, and whether BRCA-carriers have higher rates of PDAC when PCs are found.

STUDY DESIGN:

This is a retrospective cross-sectional study of patients with BRCA testing and abdominal imaging between 1996 and 2018. Pancreatic cysts were identified on original imaging reports. Prevalence and risk characteristics of PCs, as well as incidence of PDAC, were compared between BRCA+, BRCA-, and BRCA-untested patients.

RESULTS:

Pancreatic cysts were identified in 4,045 patients among 128,164 unique patients with abdominal imaging, including 33 patients with PCs in 1,113 BRCA-tested patients. There was no difference in PC prevalence between BRCA+, BRCA-, and untested patients (3.6%, 2.6%, 3.2%, respectively; p = 0.64). Pancreatic cysts were diagnosed in BRCA+ patients at a younger age (57.1 vs 65.3 years, p < 0.001); however, there was no difference in risk stratification compared with BRCA- or untested patients by consensus criteria. Across the population of imaged patients, patients with PCs had significantly higher rates of PDAC compared with those without PCs (18.2% vs 2.4%, p < 0.001). Incidence of cyst-associated PDAC was similar in BRCA+ and BRCA- patients (13.3% vs 22.2%, p = 0.84).

CONCLUSIONS:

BRCA+ patients have similar rates of PCs, high-risk features in their cysts, and PDAC as BRCA- and untested patients. BRCA+ patients likely do not require dedicated abdominal imaging to evaluate for PCs and should follow management guidelines similar to those as the untested general population if an incidental PC is identified.

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