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Cystic lesions of the pancreas: current trends in approach and management
  1. Soumil Vyas,
  2. Sheraz Markar,
  3. Tarek M Ezzat,
  4. Abraham Ajit
  1. Division of Liver and Pancreatic Surgery, Royal London Hospital and University College/Royal Free Hospitals, Barts and the London NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Soumil Vyas, Division of HPB Surgery, University College and Royal Free Hospitals, London, NW1 2BU, UK; soumil_v{at}


The more frequent deployment of cross-sectional imaging for various abdominal conditions has resulted in an increased detection of cystic pancreatic lesions, particularly cystic pancreatic neoplasms. Cystic pancreatic lesions may be neoplastic or non-neoplastic. They may appear radiologically similar and often present a diagnostic dilemma; they need to be diagnosed and differentiated with accuracy in order to offer optimum treatment. Some of the cystic neoplasms are potentially malignant and have a wide spectrum of histological variation from the frankly benign ‘adenomas’ to invasive adenocarcinomas .When identified, these cystic lesions need a systematic work up and a diagnostic algorithm should be followed to its logical conclusion. This article reviews these cystic lesions of the pancreas, neoplastic and pseudocysts, and aims to update readers with the current trends in their diagnosis and management.

  • Pancreatic cysts
  • pseudocyst
  • mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN)
  • intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN)
  • serous cystic neoplasm (SCN)
  • adult gastroenterology
  • pancreatic disease
  • hepatobiliary tumours
  • computed tomography
  • pancreatic surgery

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.