Pancreatic juice cytology in IPMN of the pancreas

Pancreatology. 2005;5(4-5):416-21; discussion 421. doi: 10.1159/000086555. Epub 2005 Jun 28.


Background: Intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) of the pancreas is a disease ranging from adenoma to borderline (with moderate dysplasia) and further to carcinoma (noninvasive and invasive) and surgical strategy is different by the grades of dysplasia.

Methods: Preoperative pancreatic juice cytology in IPMN was reviewed in 71 patients with IPMN who underwent surgical resection.

Results: The IPMN was adenoma in 48 patients, borderline in 13 and carcinoma (invasive) in 10. The sensitivity of pancreatic juice cytology in malignant IPMN was 40% (4/10). In 4 patients with the 48 IPM adenomas, diagnosis of pancreatic juice cytology was class IV or V. One of the 4 cases was considered to be an overdiagnosis of cytology, but the other 3 cases were considered to be a consequence of accompanying carcinoma in situ (or PanIN-3) (2 patients) or invasive ductal adenocarcinoma (1 patient) apart from IPMN. Sensitivity of pancreatic juice cytology was higher in IPMN of the main duct type with mucin hypersecretion and with mural nodules.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that pancreatic juice cytology in IPMN is useful especially in the main duct type with mucin hypersecretion and mural nodules. When the diagnosis of pancreatic juice cytology is malignant in otherwise benign-looking IPMNs, coexistence of pancreatic carcinoma should be suspected.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / classification
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / diagnosis*
  • Adenoma / classification
  • Adenoma / diagnosis
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / classification
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / classification
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / diagnosis*
  • Cytodiagnosis / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreatic Juice / cytology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / classification
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity