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Classification of pancreatic cysts

Asif Khalid, MD
Kevin McGrath, MD
Section Editor
John R Saltzman, MD, FACP, FACG, FASGE, AGAF
Deputy Editor
Shilpa Grover, MD, MPH, AGAF


Pancreatic cysts are diagnosed with increasing frequency because of the widespread use of cross-sectional imaging. Pancreatic cysts may be detected in over 2 percent of patients who undergo abdominal imaging with multidetector computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging for unrelated reasons. This frequency increases with age [1,2].

Pancreatic cysts can either be neoplastic (eg, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms) or non-neoplastic. Accurate cyst categorization is important, since non-neoplastic cysts require treatment only if symptomatic, whereas some of the pancreatic cystic neoplasms have significant malignant potential and should be resected.

This topic will review the classification of pancreatic cysts. An overview of pancreatic cystic neoplasms and issues related to pancreatic inflammatory fluid collections and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas are discussed separately:

(See "Pancreatic cystic neoplasms: Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management".)

(See "Management of pancreatic pseudocysts and walled-off pancreatic necrosis".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 06, 2017.
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