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, and 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".)
●(See "Walled-off pancreatic fluid collections (including pseudocysts)".)