Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the natural history and growth rate of pancreatic serous cystadenomas (SCAs) to determine which factors lead to resection for these benign neoplasms.
Methods: We reviewed retrospectively a prospectively maintained database, identifying patients diagnosed with SCAs of the pancreas. The diagnosis was made via a combination of classic imaging features with or without cyst aspiration results consistent with SCA. To determine growth rates, gamma regression models were used and the average was modeled using the log function.
Results: A prospectively maintained database of 1,241 pancreatic cystic neoplasms was queried from 1998 to 2010. A total of 219 patients (18%) were diagnosed with SCA, 194 in the surveillance group and 25 in the resection group. Twenty patients underwent resection after initial imaging principally for presence of symptoms and indeterminate diagnosis, and 5 underwent resection after surveillance for development of symptoms and/or rapid rate of growth. Rate of growth increased at a steady state over time, with an estimated doubling time of 12 years (95% confidence interval, 7.8-21.5).
Conclusion: This study shows that growth patterns are similar for SCAs of the pancreas regardless of initial size. When doubling time is faster than 12 years, resection should be considered.
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