Imaging and Cytopathological Criteria Indicating Malignancy in Mucin-Producing Pancreatic Neoplasms: A Series of 68 Histopathologically Confirmed Cases

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Abstract

Objectives

This study aims to evaluate the performance of clinical, imaging, and cytopathological criteria in the identification of high-grade dysplasia/carcinoma (HGD/Ca) in pancreatic mucin-producing cystic neoplasms.

Methods

Sixty-eight consecutive, histopathologically confirmed mucin-producing cystic neoplasms, evaluated by endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration, were enrolled; specifically, 39 branch duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (BD-IPMNs), 21 main duct IPMNs, and 8 mucinous cystic neoplasms. The associations between HGD/Ca in histopathology and findings of endoscopic ultrasound and cytology, demographic, lifestyle, and clinical parameters were evaluated, separately in IPMNs and mucinous cystic neoplasms.

Results

Age 65 years or more was associated with HGD/Ca in IPMNs. In BD-IPMNs, cyst diameter 3 cm or greater (sensitivity, 68.8%; specificity, 65.2%), a mural nodule (sensitivity, 56.3%; specificity, 78.3%), main pancreatic duct diameter 5 to 9 mm (sensitivity, 50.0%; specificity, 87.0%), and suspicious cytology (sensitivity, 81.3%; specificity, 100%) signaled the presence of HGD/Ca. Similarly, in main duct IPMNs, suspicious cytology predicted HGD/Ca with high sensitivity (88.9%) and excellent specificity (100%). Regarding cytopathological criteria, in BD-IPMNs, HGD/Ca was associated with a high nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio, background necrosis, presence of papillary structures, hypochromatic nuclei, hyperchromatic nuclei, and major nuclear membrane irregularities (thickening and/or indentations).

Conclusions

Clinical, imaging, and cytopathological criteria are useful in the identification of HGD/Ca in IPMNs.

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