Pancreatic cysts: depiction on single-shot fast spin-echo MR images

Radiology. 2002 May;223(2):547-53. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2232010815.


Purpose: To evaluate single-shot fast spin-echo (SE) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for depiction of pancreatic cysts in a large number of patients and to analyze cyst prevalence with respect to patient age and sex and other clinical information.

Materials and methods: Single-shot fast SE images of the pancreas were obtained in 1,444 patients. The images were reviewed for presence of pancreatic cysts, which were classified as simple and nonsimple types, and cyst diameters were measured. kappa statistic, Fisher exact, McNemar Q, and Pearson product moment correlation tests were performed.

Results: Two hundred eighty-three (19.6%) patients had at least one pancreatic cyst. The prevalence of pancreatic cysts increased with age (r = 0.96). The percentages of male and female patients with pancreatic cysts (20.4% vs 18.8%) were not significantly different. Two hundred seventy-one (18.8%) patients had simple cysts, and 147 (10.2%) had nonsimple cysts. Of 283 patients with pancreatic cysts, 158 (55.8%) had only one pancreatic cyst. The number of patients with multiple cysts increased with age after 70 years. Four hundred fifteen (83.8%) cysts were 10 mm in diameter or smaller; 56 (11.3%), 11-20 mm in diameter; and 24 (4.9%), 21 mm in diameter or larger. Sixteen (5.7%) patients with pancreatic cysts had malignant pancreatic tumors, and 75 (26.5%) patients had pancreatitis.

Conclusion: The prevalence of pancreatic cysts at single-shot fast SE MR imaging-especially cysts with a diameter smaller than 10 mm-is similar to that of pancreatic cysts at autopsy and higher than that of pancreatic cysts at transabdominal ultrasonography. Prevalence is especially high in patients with pancreatitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Cyst / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatic Cyst / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors