Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term follow-up results of patients with branch duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (BD-IPMNs) without mural nodules (MNs) at 10 representative institutions in Japan.
Methods: We analyzed 349 follow-up BD-IPMN patients who had no MNs on endoscopic ultrasonography at initial diagnosis.
Results: Observation periods ranged from 1 to 16.3 years (median, 3.7 years). Sixty-two (17.8%) patients exhibited disease progression during follow-up. Twenty-two underwent surgery, leading to a pathological diagnosis of carcinoma in 9 and adenoma in 13. Although the remaining 287 (82.2%) showed no changes, 7 underwent surgery because of symptoms (n = 2), choice (n = 2), or development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (n = 3); all of them were diagnosed pathologically as adenomas. Of the 29 patients undergoing surgery, all 9 with carcinoma exhibited signs of progression, such as increased main pancreatic duct diameter and/or appearance of MNs. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas and additional BD-IPMNs developed in 7 (2.0%) and 13 (3.7%), respectively. Overall, 320 (91.7%) patients were followed without surgery.
Conclusions: Most BD-IPMN patients who had no MNs on endoscopic ultrasonography could be managed without surgery. However, careful attention should be paid to disease progression and the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas during follow-up.