Cystic neoplasms of the pancreas; What a clinician should know

George H. Sakorafas, Michael G. Sarr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Primary cystic neoplasms of the pancreas (serous cystic neoplasms, mucinous serous neoplasms, and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms) are lesions of emerging importance. With the wide availability of modern imaging methods, these neoplasms are being recognized with increasing frequency. Due to the improvement of these sophisticated imaging techniques, it is often possible to differentiate preoperatively these primary pancreatic cystic neoplasms not only from other cystic pancreatic disorders (such as pancreatic pseudocysts) but also from one another. This differentiation is very important for the clinician, since these neoplasms have radically different biologic behavior. Serous cystic neoplasms are uniformly benign and usually do not mandate resection unless the lesion is symptomatic. In contrast, mucinous cystic neoplasms and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms have a premalignant or overtly malignant tendency, and therefore should be managed aggressively by pancreatic resection. In these mucinous cystic neoplasms, recognition of an underlying malignancy is often not possible without a detailed histopathologic examination of the entire resected specimen. In the absence of invasive disease, prognosis is excellent after appropriate surgery. The presence of invasive malignancy signifies a poor prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-535
Number of pages29
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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