The rare case of a cystic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor

Autops Case Rep. 2020 Jun 5;10(3):e2020171. doi: 10.4322/acr.2020.171.


The pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) most commonly present as solid neoplasms; however, very rarely, they may present primarily as cystic neoplasms. Most of the cystic PanNETs are non-secreting tumors, and the radiological features are not well defined. Hence pre-operative diagnosis is usually challenging and the tumors are misdiagnosed as mucinous cystic neoplasms, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, serous cystic neoplasms, solid pseudopapillary neoplasms, and non-neoplastic cysts. However, the management depends on the accurate diagnosis of these cystic lesions, which poses a dilemma. Herein, we report the case of a cystic PanNET in the tail of the pancreas, which was clinically and radiologically misdiagnosed as a mucinous cystic neoplasm. This case is reported to highlight this issue to the medical community regarding the diagnostic difficulty in such rare non-functioning pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

Keywords: Cysts, Pancreatic Intraductal Neoplasms; Neuroendocrine Tumors; Pancreas.

Publication types

  • Case Reports