Cystic tumors of the pancreas: dynamic CT studies

P Soyer, A Rabenandrasana, B Van Beers, J Barge, A Sibert, J P Laissy, E Achour, M Levesque
Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography 1994, 18 (3): 420-6

OBJECTIVE: Our retrospective study was performed to reassess the common dynamic CT manifestations of cystic tumors of the pancreas and to determine whether they might allow the differentiation between benign and malignant tumors.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Dynamic CT examinations of 19 patients with 20 cystic tumors of the pancreas, including 7 serous cystadenomas, 3 benign mucinous cystadenomas, 5 mucinous cystadenocarcinomas, 3 mucin-producing duct ectasias, and 2 papillary cystic epithelial neoplasms, were retrospectively reviewed. The examinations were obtained with 4 to 5 mm collimation with intravenous injection of 120-130 ml of contrast agent.

RESULTS: Calcifications were found only in benign tumors (seven serous cyst-adenomas). Internal septations were found in benign and malignant tumors (seven serous cystadenomas, three benign mucinous cystadenomas, three mucinous cystadenocarcinomas). Solid excrescences within cystic cavities were found only in malignant tumors (two mucinous cystadenocarcinomas, two mucin-producing duct ectasias). Dynamic CT features allowed the distinguishing of serous cystadenomas from other cystic tumors and mucin-producing duct ectasias from other mucinous tumors. Dynamic CT features did not permit differentiation between benign mucinous cystadenomas, mucinous cystadenocarcinomas, and papillary cystic epithelial neoplasms.

CONCLUSION: The review suggests that dynamic CT findings are useful to differentiate (a) serous cystadenomas and mucin-producing duct ectasias from other cystic tumors of the pancreas and (b) benign from malignant tumors. Such differentiation has impact on patient management.

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