Cystic neoplasms of the pancreas—cystadenomas and cystadenocarcinomas

W Meyer, J Köhler, C Gebhardt
Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery 1999, 384 (1): 44-9

INTRODUCTION: Among the rare cystic pancreatic tumors, serous and mucinous cystadenoma and mucinous cystadenocarcinoma are most often diagnosed.

CASE: We report on a total of 21 patients with cystic neoplasms who underwent surgery, 11 of whom had mucinous cystadenocarcinoma. Of the 10 remaining patients, serous and mucinous cystadenoma were diagnosed in two groups of five. A common feature of all cystic neoplasms is slow growth, leading to clinical symptoms at an advanced stage, with tumors frequently becoming enormous.

RESULTS: In approximately half of the cases, diagnosis was possible by means of ultrasound, computed tomography and, in three instances, by preoperative percutaneous aspiration. Differential diagnosis of pseudocysts proved to be most difficult.

CONCLUSION: Given the low operative risk, resection should always be performed in instances where findings cannot be clearly identified. Moreover, compared with ductal pancreatic carcinomas, the prognosis of a cystadenocarcinoma after early resection is extremely favorable, so that postponing resection might reduce the patient's prospects of being cured.

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