Pancreatic Cysts: Sinister Findings or Incidentalomas?

Med Clin North Am. 2019 Jan;103(1):163-172. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2018.08.004.


Pancreatic cysts are common and are incidentally detected in up to 13.5% of individuals. Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) and mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN) are precursors to pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Most will never develop into pancreatic cancer. Several types of pancreatic cysts have no malignant potential. Solid tumors can present as a pancreatic cysts. Guidelines recommend surveillance. Management includes differentiating IPMNs and MCNs from other types, identifying those at highest risk of harboring pancreatic cancer or high-grade dysplasia, and referral to a multidisciplinary group for evaluation and consideration of surgical resection.

Keywords: IPMN; MCN; Mucin producing cyst; Mucinous cystic neoplasm; Pancreatic cystic neoplasm; Pancreatic cysts.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings
  • Male
  • Pancreas / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Cyst / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatic Cyst / pathology
  • Pancreatic Cyst / surgery
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*