Objectives: The goal of this study was to evaluate the consistency of distinction between pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) and intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasms (IPMN) and the hypothesis that guidelines for their distinction might be inadequate.
Methods: A group of 93 pancreas specimens from surgical resections or autopsies that contained lesions consistent with histopathological diagnoses of PanIN-1A, PanIN-1B, PanIN-2, or IPMN (adenoma or borderline) was collected. The classification of these neoplasms by 6 pathologists, 2 from Europe, 2 from Japan, and 2 from the United States, was compared. The pathologists initially used guidelines current in their practice and then reviewed 47 of the 93 specimens a second time using new consensus definitions and guidelines for PanIN and IPMN that were developed in 2003.
Results: The initial comparison showed frequent disagreement regarding both category and grade of the lesions. Agreement was greater for category than grade. In the second review, agreement among the 6 reviewers improved, remaining higher for category, although disagreements persisted for both category and grade.
Conclusions: We conclude that the new definitions of PanIN and IPMN improve the consistency in classifying these lesions, but additional work is needed to further improve the reproducibility of their classification.