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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2014 October;105(5):437-45

language: English

The problem of an incidental uniloculated cyst

Fernández-Esparrach G., Ginès A.

Unit of Endoscopy, Department of Gastroenterology, ICMDM Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS CIBEREHD, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain


Incidental uniloculated cysts are diagnosed more frequently due to the increase in availability of high-quality abdominal imaging. The prevalence of incidental pancreatic cysts detected on abdominal imaging is 2.6% and is even higher in old patients. Pancreatic cysts are also found in up to 25% of autopsies, 3% of which present progression to carcinoma in situ. The most frequently incidental cysts detected are <10 mm in size and the spectrum has changed from inflammatory to mucinous lesions. Although some morphological and cytological features can help to establish the nature of these cysts, it is unclear how many of them carry a risk of malignant degeneration, how to identify those accurately, and, once recognized, how to establish which ones are likely to harbor incipient cancer and how to manage them. In the last years, some guidelines have been elaborated that summarize all the evidence published up to now and provide clinicians with useful recommendations regarding the management of pancreatic uniloculated cysts.

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