The differential diagnosis of pancreatic cysts by MR imaging

K Nishihara, A Kawabata, T Ueno, M Miyahara, Y Hamanaka, T Suzuki
Hepato-gastroenterology 1996, 43 (9): 714-20

BACKGROUND/AIM: The usefulness of magnetic resonance imaging (MR imaging) in the differential diagnosis of cystic lesions of the pancreas was assessed.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Pseudocyst was present in 9 patients, retention cyst in 4, simple cyst in 2, serous cystadenoma in 1, mucinous cystadenoma in 6, mucinous cystadenocarcinoma in 6. The relative signal intensity (SI) of each cystic lesion on MR imaging was assessed in comparison with that of the liver.

RESULTS: It was difficult to distinguish the cystic types from each other based on the SI on MR images. Insofar as mucinous cystic tumors, those containing gelatinous mucin showed higher SI on T1-weighted images than those containing mucinous but watery fluid. five of the 6 mucinous cystic tumors containing gelatinous mucin were histologically malignant, whereas all except one those containing watery fluid were benign.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the SI on T1-weighted images may be useful in distinguishing malignant from benign mucinous cystic tumors.

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