Aim: To study the natural course of asymptomatic pseudocysts of the pancreas.
Methods: Thirty patients (age range 18-68 years, mean 44; 24 men) with asymptomatic pseudocysts of the pancreas were enrolled between December 2001 and December 2003, and were followed up every month. Those who developed symptoms due to pseudocyst (increasing pain or features of obstruction such as vomiting or jaundice) were subjected to an endoscopic or surgical drainage procedure. End point of the study was either spontaneous resolution of pseudocyst or drainage procedure.
Results: Eighteen (60%) of 30 patients had resolution of the pseudocyst over an average duration of 5 months. Maximum diameter of less than 7.5 cm and cyst volume less than 250 mL were significantly more frequent in patients with resolution of pseudocyst than in those without (14/18 vs 2/12 [p=0.001] and 15/18 vs 2/12 [p=0.0003], respectively). Presence of internal debris was associated with non-resolution (9/12 vs 2/18; p=0.001).
Conclusion: Pseudocysts with less than 7.5 cm diameter, volume less than 250 mL, and absence of internal debris were associated with spontaneous resolution within an average duration of 5 months.