Pancreatic cystic neoplasms. Where clinics, imaging and surgery really count
Cystic pancreatic tumors form a heterogeneous group of tumors
that usually present diagnostic difficulties concerning
their neoplastic or inflammatory nature. What makes these
tumors interesting and important is the fact that most of
them once recognized can be definitely cured by surgical resection,
making a sharp contrast to ductal adenocarcinoma.
In classifying cystic pancreatic tumors we follow the WHO
classification of 1996 which is based on the features of their
epithelial wall. Main groups are: serous cystic tumors, mucinous
cystic tumors and intraductal papillary mucinous
neoplasms. The diagnostic workup of these tumors is based
on modern imaging methods (Computed tomography with
contrast injection, magnetic resonance imaging and cholangiopancreatography,
endoscopic ultrasound). Surgery is an
effective treatment and follow up is mandatory.