To describe our institutional experience with resected cystic tumors of the pancreas with emphasis on changes in clinical presentation and accuracy of preoperative diagnosis.
Incidental-discovery of pancreatic cystic lesions has increased and has led to a rise in pancreatic resections. It is important to analyze surgical outcomes from these procedures, and the prevalence of malignancy, pre-malignancy and resections for purely benign lesions, some of which may be unintended.
Retrospective review of a prospective database spanning 3 decades. Presence of symptoms, incidental discovery, diagnostic studies, type of surgery, postoperative outcomes, and concordance between presumptive diagnosis and final histopathology were recorded.
1290 patients were identified, 62% female with mean age of 60 y. 57% of tumors were incidentally-discovered. 90-day operative mortality was 0.9% and major morbidity 14.4%. There were 23 different diagnosis, but IPMN, MCN and serous cystadenoma comprised 80% of cases. Concordance between preoperative and final histopathological diagnosis increased by decade from 45%, to 68%, and is currently 80%, rising in parallel with the use of EUS, cytology and molecular analysis. The addition of molecular analysis improved accuracy to 91%. Of mis-diagnosed cases, half were purely benign and taken to surgery with the presumption of malignancy or premalignancy. The majority of these were serous cystadenomas.
Indications and diagnostic work-up of cystic tumors of the pancreas have changed over time. Surgical resection can be performed with very low mortality and acceptable morbidity and diagnostic accuracy is currently 80%. About 10% of patients are still undergoing surgery for purely benign lesions that were presumed to be malignant or premalignant. Further refinements in diagnostic tests are required to improve accuracy.