Macrocystic serous cystadenoma of the pancreas: clinicopathologic features in seven cases

C Sperti, C Pasquali, A Perasole, G Liessi, S Pedrazzoli
International Journal of Pancreatology: Official Journal of the International Association of Pancreatology 2000, 28 (1): 1-7

BACKGROUND: Serous cystic neoplasms of the pancreas are uncommon tumors classified as microcystic adenomas. In this article, the authors report clinico-pathologic features of seven cases of macrocystic variant of the serous cystadenoma.

METHODS: Seven patients (5 females and 2 males) with a diagnosis of cystic lesion of the pancreas were observed after 1995. Clinical, radiological, and pathologic features, including immunohistochemistry, were reported. Enzymes and tumor markers CEA, CA 19-9, CA 125, CA 15-3, CA 72-4, and mucin-like carcinoma-associated antigen (MCA) were investigated in the serum and cyst fluid of the patients. Cytology was also performed.

RESULTS: Six patients were symptomatic complaining abdominal pain. All cases had radiologic evidence of unilocular cyst of the pancreas. The suspected diagnosis was consistent with mucinous cystic neoplasm. Serum tumor markers were all in the normal range. After surgery, pathology showed in all cases a cyst lined with cuboidal, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-positive epithelium, without mucin content or atypia. Minute microcysts were found surrounding the main cavity. Immunohistochemical stains were positive for cytokeratin, CA19-9, CA15-3, CA 72-4, and MCA. CEA was unexpressed. CA 125 in the cyst fluid were found elevated in three cases and CA 19-9 in three cases. Cytology was negative in all cases.

CONCLUSION: When a unilocular pancreatic cyst is found, without history of pancreatitis and gallstones, having low serum tumor markers levels and negativity of CA 72-4 and MCA in the cyst fluid, the diagnosis of the macrocystic variant of the serous cystadenoma may be suggested. At present, the diagnosis is still based on pathological examination after cyst removal.

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