Which morphologic characteristics are associated with pancreatic cancer?

Updated: Oct 02, 2020
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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In a presentation delivered at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, Huffman et al described a new risk-stratification system for EUS–guided fine-needle aspiration cytology results that can help determine when pancreatic lesions are malignant. [54] The researchers identified the following 3 morphologic characteristics as being significantly associated with pancreatic malignancy:

  • Anisonucleosis

  • Single atypical epithelial cells

  • Mucinous metaplasia

The risk of malignancy was low when none of these 3 criteria are met, moderate when 1 was met, and high when 2 or 3 were met. [54]

The yield of CT-guided fine-needle aspiration or biopsy findings is approximately 50-85% in the lesions that are visible on CT scanning.

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