How are cystic neoplasms differentiated from chronic pancreatitis?

Updated: Jul 15, 2019
  • Author: Jason L Huffman, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Some patients with cystic neoplasms have undergone cyst-enteric anastomoses, only to develop malignancy later. Consider a cystic neoplasm in any patient without a clinical history of pancreatitis, even if no septa, solid component, or rim calcification is present on the imaging study.

Although aspiration of the cyst fluid and measurement of its viscosity, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), cancer antigen (CA) 19-9, and other factors are helpful in differentiating the various types of cysts, surgical resection of the cyst is the standard of care in a good surgical candidate.

Groove pancreatitis is a unique form of segmental pancreatitis in which the inflammatory process is confined to the groove between the duodenum and the common bile duct, without necessarily involving the entire head of the pancreas. [10]

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