Cystic pancreatic neoplasms are often an incidental finding, the frequency of which is increasing. The understanding of such lesions has increased in recent years, but the numerous types of lesions involved can hinder differential diagnosis. They include, in particular, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN), serous cystic neoplasms (SCN), and mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCN). Knowledge of their histological and radiological structure, as well as distribution in terms of localization, age, and sex, helps to differentiate such tumours from common pancreatic pseudocysts. Several types of cystic pancreatic neoplasms can undergo malignant transformation and, therefore, require differentiated radiological management. This review aims to develop a broader understanding of the pathological and radiological characteristics of cystic pancreatic neoplasms, and provide a guideline for everyday practice based on current concepts in the radiological management of the given lesions.
Copyright © 2012 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.