Endoscopic ultrasound characteristics of mucinous cystic neoplasms of the pancreas

Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Apr;95(4):961-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2000.01976.x.


Objective: Mucinous cystic neoplasms of the pancreas have a more favorable prognosis than ductal adenocarcinoma. Management of a subgroup, intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasms, is controversial. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) with fine-needle aspiration biopsy may emerge as the imaging modality of choice. There are few studies describing the EUS features of these tumors.

Methods: A total of 35 consecutive cases of cystic tumors of the pancreas with an established pathological diagnosis were analyzed for characteristic EUS features.

Results: Mucinous cystadenocarcinomas (n = 14) were more likely to be characterized by hypoechoic cystic/solid mass or complex cyst and were frequently associated with a dilated main pancreatic duct. Benign mucinous duct ectasia (n = 6) were characterized by a dilated main pancreatic duct in conjunction with hyperechoic thickening of the duct wall. The two cases of intraductal mucinous hyperplasia additionally showed a hypoechoic mass. Intraductal papillary carcinoma (n = 11) had features in common with mucinous cystadenocarcinoma but also had echogenic foci in the mass and intraductal hyperechoic lesions. The two cases of microcystic cystadenoma showed either a mixed hypoechoic solid/cystic mass or a complex cyst without the additional features seen in mucinous cystadenocarcinoma.

Conclusions: EUS features seem to exist that may help to differentiate cystic neoplasms from adenocarcinoma of the pancreas and, thus, to establish the preoperative diagnosis of cystic tumors of the pancreas.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Mucinous / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Mucinous / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endosonography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreatic Ducts / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies