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 row 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 issues related to pancreatic cystic neoplasms, including serous cystic tumors, mucinous cystic neoplasms, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, and solid pseudopapillary neoplasms. The classification of pancreatic cysts, the diagnosis and management of pancreatic pseudocysts, and a detailed discussion of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas are discussed separately:
●(See "Classification of pancreatic cysts".)
●(See "Diagnosis and management of pseudocysts of the pancreas".)