Objective: To characterize imaging features and findings in recurrent intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN); thereby reconciling the "field defect" theory with the appearance of recurrences distant from the resection margin.
Methods: Computed tomography findings were reviewed in 89 patients who were resected with IPMN. At follow-up, the appearance of the pancreatic duct, features of recurrent masses, evidence of enhancement, calcifications, lymphadenopathy, and metastases were recorded.
Results: Fourteen (16%) of the 89 patients had evidence of recurrence. Nine (64%) of the 14 patients demonstrated evidence for local recurrence. Ten recurrent lesions were noted in 9 patients. Patients with recurrence demonstrated an increase of pancreatic ductal dilatation of 3.3 mm, whereas patients without recurrence either had no dilatation or dilatation which then decreased over time.
Conclusions: Computed tomography findings suspicious for tumor recurrence include enlarging mass (either solid, cystic or both), progressive ductal dilatation, or extrapancreatic disease. There was a lack of correlation between margin status and location of recurrence within the pancreas consistent with the global field defect theory of IPMN.