Long-term Risk of Malignancy in Branch-Duct Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms

Gastroenterology. 2020 Jan;158(1):226-237.e5. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2019.08.032. Epub 2019 Aug 29.


Background & aims: Long-term outcomes of patients with branch-duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), particularly those after 5 years of surveillance, have not been fully evaluated in large studies. We analyzed incidences of IPMN-derived carcinoma and concomitant ductal adenocarcinoma (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma [PDAC]) over 20 years in a large population of patients.

Methods: We identified 1404 consecutive patients (52% women; mean age, 67.5 years) with a diagnosis of branch-duct IPMN, from 1994 through 2017, at the University of Tokyo in Japan. Using a competing risk analysis, we estimated cumulative incidence of pancreatic carcinoma, overall and by carcinoma type. We used competing risks proportional hazards models to estimate subdistribution hazard ratios (SHRs) for incidences of carcinomas. To differentiate IPMN-derived and concomitant carcinomas, we collected genomic DNA from available paired samples of IPMNs and carcinomas and detected mutations in GNAS and KRAS by polymerase chain reaction and pyrosequencing.

Results: During 9231 person-years of follow-up, we identified 68 patients with pancreatic carcinomas (38 patients with IPMN-derived carcinomas and 30 patients with concomitant PDACs); the overall incidence rates were 3.3%, 6.6%, and 15.0% at 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. Among 804 patients followed more than 5 years, overall cumulative incidence rates of pancreatic carcinoma were 3.5% at 10 years and 12.0% at 15 years from the initial diagnosis. The size of the IPMN and the diameter of the main pancreatic duct associated with incidence of IPMN-derived carcinoma (SHR 1.85; 95% confidence interval 1.38-2.48 for a 10-mm increase in the IPMN size and SHR 1.56; 95% confidence interval 1.33-1.83 for a 1-mm increase in the main pancreatic duct diameter) but not with incidence of concomitant PDAC.

Conclusions: In a large long-term study of patients with branch-duct IPMNs, we found the 5-year incidence rate of pancreatic malignancy to be 3.3%, reaching 15.0% at 15 years after IPMN diagnosis. We observed heterogeneous risk factor profiles between IPMN-derived and concomitant carcinomas.

Keywords: Cohort; Neoplasm; Pancreatic Cancer; Prognostic Factor.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / epidemiology*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology
  • Chromogranins / genetics
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / genetics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / pathology
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology
  • Pancreatic Intraductal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / genetics
  • Risk Factors


  • Chromogranins
  • KRAS protein, human
  • GNAS protein, human
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)