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The natural history of the incidentally discovered small simple pancreatic cyst: long-term follow-up and clinical implications.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15615944     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of our study was to determine the natural history of small (</= 2 cm) simple pancreatic cystic lesions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review was performed of patients with long-term follow-up who were diagnosed with small (</= 2 cm) simple pancreatic cysts on sonography or CT from 1985 to 1996. Long-term surveillance included radiographic surveillance of 5 years or longer, clinical follow-up of 8 years or longer, or response to questionnaire or telephone inquiry 8 year or longer after the original diagnosis. Cause of death was recorded for patients who died within 5-8 years of diagnosis. Patients were excluded if a history of pancreatitis or systemic cystic disease existed. RESULTS: Seventy-nine patients had small simple pancreatic cysts. Forty-nine (62%) had adequate radiologic, clinical, or questionnaire follow-up. Of the 22 patients with radiologic follow-up, 13 (59%) had cysts that remained unchanged or became smaller (mean size, 8 mm; mean follow-up, 9 years), and nine (41%) had cysts that enlarged, from a mean of 14 mm to a mean of 26 mm (mean follow-up, 8 years). Of the 27 patients with clinical or questionnaire follow-up (mean follow-up, 10 years), none developed symptomatic pancreatic disease. Eighteen patients (23%) died within 8 years without adequate radiologic follow-up, none of pancreas-related causes. Twelve patients (15%) were lost to follow-up. CONCLUSION: Although small, incidental, simple pancreatic cysts of 2 cm or smaller may enlarge over a prolonged time, morbidity or mortality due to these small simple cysts is extremely unlikely, and observation appears to be a safe management option.
Stephen J Handrich; David M Hough; Joel G Fletcher; Michael G Sarr
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  AJR. American journal of roentgenology     Volume:  184     ISSN:  0361-803X     ISO Abbreviation:  AJR Am J Roentgenol     Publication Date:  2005 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-12-23     Completed Date:  2005-02-25     Revised Date:  2008-02-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7708173     Medline TA:  AJR Am J Roentgenol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  20-3     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinic, Madison, WI 53792, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Follow-Up Studies
Middle Aged
Pancreatic Cyst / diagnosis,  pathology*
Retrospective Studies

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