Journal Basic Info

  • Impact Factor: 2.709**
  • H-Index: 11 
  • ISSN: 2474-1663
  • DOI: 10.25107/2474-1663
**Impact Factor calculated based on Google Scholar Citations. Please contact us for any more details.

Major Scope

  •  Breast Cancer
  •  Ovarian Cancer
  •  Surgical Oncology
  •  Radiation Therapy
  •  Targeted Therapy
  •  Endometrial Cancer
  •  General Oncology
  •  Blood Cancer


Citation: Clin Oncol. 2016;1(1):1088.DOI: 10.25107/2474-1663.1088

Differentiating Pancreatic Cystic Lesions

Garg N, Elshikh M, Rayan J, Wei P, Rajaram V and Bhosale P

Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging, University of Texas Medical School, USA

*Correspondance to: Naveen Garg 

 PDF  Full Text Review Article | Open Access


Pancreatic cystic lesions (PCLs) may represent malignant or premalignant neoplasms and require diagnostic evaluation. Patient’s demographics and clinical presentation should be considered when diagnosing PCLs. Radiologically, location, ductal relation, external contour, wall, and septal enhancement give important clues for each type of lesion. Imaging features that suggest a high malignancy risk and warrant additional investigation are mural nodules, nearby mass, thick septa, and a dilated main pancreatic duct. Pseudocysts, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, mucinous cystic neoplasms, and serous cystadenoma are the most frequently encountered cystic lesions. Pseudocysts are most likely to follow a history of pancreatitis and have high amylase and lipase values. Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms are usually connected to the pancreatic duct and are associated with a GNAS mutation. Mucinous cystic neoplasms generally present as a solitary distal cystic pancreatic lesion in a middle-aged woman and lack ductal communication. Serous cystadenomas are associated with high vascular endothelial growth factor levels and a VHL mutation and have a cyst content rich in glycogen. This review describes performance of various imaging modalities and pathological markers for diagnosing and detecting malignant potential of PCLs and illustrates typical pathological and radiological features of the most common PCLs, including primary issues in the differential diagnosis of these lesions. Highlights • Patient demographics should be considered when diagnosing cystic lesions. • Imaging is crucial for assessment of PCLs, by detecting the locularity, nodularity, external contour, and enhancement characteristics. • EUS-FNA can aid in diagnosis of indeterminate cystic lesions on imaging.


Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm; Mucinous cystic neoplasm; Pancreatic cystic lesions; Pancreatic pseudocyst; Serous cystadenoma

Cite the Article:

Garg N, Elshikh M, Rayan J, Wei P, Rajaram V, Bhosale P. Differentiating Pancreatic Cystic Lesions. Clin Oncol. 2016; 1: 1088.

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