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Feature Article

Pancreatic cystic lesions: sorting benign from malignant

Christopher B Nahm, Ian Norton, Sarah Cho, Anthony J Gill, Jaswinder Samra, Anubhav Mittal

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Abstract

Pancreatic cysts are a common incidental finding on imaging and may signify benign, premalignant or malignant disease. It is therefore important to investigate in an expert environment to identify the likely pathology and manage accordingly.

Key Points

  • Pancreatic cysts are a common incidental finding on imaging and may signify benign, premalignant or malignant disease.
  • Early referral to a high-volume pancreatic unit is recommended for all patients with a pancreatic cyst.
  • Triple-phase CT scan of the abdomen or gadolinium- 
enhanced MRI with MR cholangiopancreatography are the most appropriate imaging modalities for all patients with pancreatic cysts.
  • As the malignant potential of pancreatic cysts varies, surgical intervention is recommended in selected cases only.
  • Patients whose lesions are not resected should undergo surveillance under the close supervision of a specialist pancreatic unit.

    Picture credit: © 3D4Medical/Medical Images

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