Prevalence and outcomes of cystic lesion of the pancreas in immunosuppressed patients with solid organ transplantation

Saowanee Ngamruengphong, Kristina M. Seeger, Luke M. McCrone, Maria Moris, Stephen J. Garrison, Surakit Pungpapong, Andrew P. Keaveny, Massimo Raimondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Solid organ transplant recipients have an increased risk of cancer due to immunosuppressive therapy. Pancreatic cystic lesions are increasingly being detected, some with malignant potential. We aimed to determine the prevalence of these lesions and describe their clinical course in these patients. Methods: We identified the presence of pancreatic cystic lesions in a retrospective cohort of 3188 consecutive solid organ transplant recipients from 2000 to 2013 and compared lesion characteristics at initial and follow-up imaging, when available. Results: Lesion prevalence was 11.4% (365/3188), and increased with age. Median diameter of the largest lesions was 7. mm (range: 1-31. mm). We noted worrisome features in two patients (0.54%) at the time of cyst diagnosis. Of 155 patients who underwent follow-up imaging, the cysts size remained stable in 80%, increased in 16%, and decreased in 4%. Two patients (1.3%) developed features concerning for cancer. One underwent pancreatic surgery, and pathology confirmed the presence of high-grade dysplasia. The other continued with conservative management due to multiple comorbidities. Conclusions: Pancreatic cystic lesions are common in solid organ transplant recipients. In lesions without high-risk features, the development of features worrisome for cancer is rare. These lesions can be managed conservatively, and their presence should not affect transplant eligibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-422
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Immunosuppressive therapy
  • Organ transplantation
  • Pancreatic cystic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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