Pancreatic Tumors in Children and Young Adults With Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

Pediatr Radiol. 2017 Jan;47(1):39-45. doi: 10.1007/s00247-016-3701-0. Epub 2016 Sep 17.


Background: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are not included in the diagnostic criteria for tuberous sclerosis complex, although an association has been described.

Objective: To investigate the association of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor in children and young adults with tuberous sclerosis complex and define MRI characteristics of the tumor.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively evaluated the abdominal MRI scans of 55 children and young adults with tuberous sclerosis complex for the presence of a pancreatic mass. The scans were performed over a period of 7 years to monitor renal pathology. We obtained each patient's clinical history and treatment protocol from the hospital's electronic medical records.

Results: A solid pancreatic mass was identified in 5/55 (9%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3-20%) patients (4 male) with a mean age of 12.6 years. Four of the lesions were located in the pancreatic tail and one in the pancreatic body. All of the lesions were solid, ovoid and well demarcated, with a mean diameter of 3.1 cm. The masses uniformly demonstrated T1 and T2 prolongation, but their diffusion behavior and post-contrast enhancement varied. The two surgically resected lesions were synaptophysin (+) non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors on pathology. Two of the patients who did not have surgery were treated with everolimus; one of the lesions has shown interval decrease in size and the other has remained stable.

Conclusion: Pancreatic tumor is relatively common in children and young adults with tuberous sclerosis complex.

Keywords: Children; Magnetic resonance imaging; Neuroendocrine tumor; Pancreas; Tuberous sclerosis complex.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / etiology*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / complications*
  • Young Adult


  • Contrast Media