The mucus-hypersecreting tumor of the pancreas. Development and extension visualized by three-dimensional computerized mapping

Cancer. 1992 Sep 15;70(6):1505-13. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19920915)70:6<1505::aid-cncr2820700611>;2-d.


Background: Mucus-hypersecreting tumor of the pancreas appears as dilated ducts and cystic spaces filled with mucus. To determine where such tumors arise and how they extend, computer-aided three-dimensional reconstruction was done of the ductal system. This also was used to visualize the spatial relationships among epithelial hyperplasia, dysplasia, and carcinoma in situ (CIS).

Methods: Surgically removed pancreases were studied from 12 patients with mucus-hypersecreting tumors. The specimens were fixed in buffered formaldehyde solution 10%, embedded in paraffin and semiserially sectioned at 3 microns at an interval of 60 microns. The ductal contours were differentiated among ducts lined by ordinary epithelia, hyperplastic epithelia, dysplastic cells, or CIS and were inputted into a computer system that integrated a three-dimensional image of ducts in the display.

Results and conclusions: (1) The tumors arose in the main pancreatic duct or its subbranches, and the cysts corresponded to segments expanded by the superficial growth of tumor cells; (2) areas of CIS arose in zones of preceding dysplasia, suggesting a dysplasia-carcinoma sequence; and (3) dysplastic or cancerous cells often extended intraductally over the dilated segments of ducts.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Computer Graphics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucus / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*