Cystic Pancreatic Tumors

Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 2018 Aug;26(3):405-420. doi: 10.1016/j.mric.2018.03.006.


Cystic pancreatic lesions are common and often incidentally detected on cross-sectional examinations of the abdomen. Most lesions are asymptomatic and benign. However, some carry a significant risk of malignant degeneration, so correct identification, complete characterization, and adequate follow-up/management of these lesions are paramount. MR imaging/magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography is an ideal single imaging modality for complete characterization and follow-up of cystic pancreatic lesions. This article discusses the epidemiology, pathology, and imaging characteristics of the most common cystic pancreatic neoplasms and concludes with a discussion of the most up-to-date follow-up imaging guideline recommendations.

Keywords: Cystic pancreatic neoplasm; Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm; Mucinous cystadenoma and cystadenocarcinoma; Serous cystadenoma; Solid pseudopapillary tumor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Neoplasms, Cystic, Mucinous, and Serous / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreas / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*