Does cyst growth predict malignancy in branch duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms? Results of a large multicenter experience

Dig Liver Dis. 2018 Sep;50(9):961-968. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2018.04.022. Epub 2018 Apr 27.


Background: Cyst growth of BD-IPMNs on follow-up imaging remains a concerning sign.

Aims: To describe cyst size changes over time in BD-IPMNs, and determine whether cyst growth rate is associated with increased risk of malignancy.

Methods: This is a retrospective study performed at two high volume tertiary centers. Mean cyst size at baseline (MCSB) and mean growth rate percentage (MGRP) were calculated. Rapid cyst growth was defined as MGRP ≥30%/year. Patient and cyst related characteristics were studied.

Results: 160 patients were followed for a median of 27.4 (12-114.5) months. MCSB was 15.1 ± 8.0 mm. During follow-up, 73 (45.6%) showed any cyst size increase, of which 15 cysts (9.4%) exhibited MGRP ≥30%/year. Rapid cyst growth was not associated with patient or cyst characteristics. Cyst fluid molecular analysis from 101 cysts showed KRAS mutation in 26. Compared to KRAS-negative cysts, neither MCSB (16.0 mm vs. 17.7 mm; p = 0.3) nor MGRP (3.9%/year vs. 5.8%/year; p = 0.7) was significantly different. Eighteen patients underwent surgery; 15 (83%) had LGD, and 3 had advanced neoplasia. Two cysts with LGD and one cyst with advanced neoplasia had MGRP ≥30%/year.

Conclusion: Increase in BD-IPMNs size was not associated with the known high risk patient or cyst-related characteristics. Rapid growth of BD-IPMNs was not associated with advanced neoplasia on surgical pathology.

Keywords: Branch-duct IPMN (BD-IPMN); CT; Cyst growth rate; Dysplasia; Endoscopic ultrasound; MRI; Molecular analysis; Neoplasia.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Endosonography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Cystic, Mucinous, and Serous / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasms, Cystic, Mucinous, and Serous / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Cyst / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Cyst / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies