Clin Endosc.  2015 Jan;48(1):31-38. 10.5946/ce.2015.48.1.31.

Rare Nonneoplastic Cysts of Pancreas

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea.


Pancreatic cysts represent a small proportion of pancreatic diseases, but their incidence has been recently increasing. Most pancreatic cysts are identified incidentally, causing a dilemma for both clinicians and patients. In contrast to ductal adenocarcinoma, neoplastic pancreatic cysts may be cured by resection. In general, pancreatic cysts are classified as neoplastic or non-neoplastic cysts. The predominant types of neoplastic cysts include intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, mucinous cystic neoplasms, serous cystic neoplasms, and solid pseudopapillary neoplasms. With the exception of serous type, neoplastic cysts, have malignant potential, and in most cases requires resection. Non-neoplastic cysts include pseudocyst, retention cyst, benign epithelial cysts, lymphoepithelial cysts, squamous lined cysts (dermoid cyst and epidermal cyst in intrapancreatic accessory spleen), mucinous nonneoplastic cysts, and lymphangiomas. The incidence of nonneoplastic, noninflammatory cysts is about 6.3% of all pancreatic cysts. Despite the use of high-resolution imaging technologies and cytologic tissue acquisition with endosonography, distinguishing nonneoplastic from neoplastic cysts remains difficult with most differentiations made postoperatively. Nonetheless, the definitive distinction between non-neoplastic and neoplastic cysts is crucial as unnecessary surgery could be avoided with proper diagnosis. Therefore, consideration of these rare disease entities should be entertained before deciding on surgery.


Pancreatic cyst; Neoplastic cyst; Nonneoplastic cyst
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