Risk of malignancy in resected pancreatic mucinous cystic neoplasms

M. G. Keane, A. Shamali, L. N. Nilsson, A. Antila, J. Millastre Bocos, M. Marijinissen Van Zanten, C. Verdejo Gil, P. Maisonneuve, Y. Vaalavuo, T. Hoskins, S. Robinson, G. O. Ceyhan, M. Abu Hilal, S. P. Pereira, J. Laukkarinen, M. Del Chiaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pancreatic mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCNs) are rare mucin-producing cystic tumours defined by the presence of ovarian-type stroma. MCNs have a malignant potential and thus surgery is frequently performed. The aim of this cohort study was to define better the criteria for surgical resection in patients with MCN. Methods: This multicentre retrospective study included all resected MCNs between 2003 and 2015 in participating centres. Lesions without ovarian-type stroma were excluded. Patient characteristics, preoperative findings, histopathology findings and follow-up data were recorded. Results: The study included 211 patients; their median age was 53 (range 18–82) years, and 202 (95·7 per cent) were women. Median preoperative tumour size was 55 (range 12–230) mm. Thirty-four of the 211 (16·1 per cent) were malignant, and high-grade dysplasia (HGD) was found in a further 13 (6·2 per cent). One-third of MCNs in men were associated with invasive cancer, compared with 15·3 per cent in women. Five cases of malignant transformation occurred in MCNs smaller than 4 cm. All cases of malignancy or HGD were associated with symptoms or features of concern on preoperative cross-sectional imaging. In multivariable analysis, raised carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (odds ratio (OR) 10·54, 95 per cent c.i. 2·85 to 218·23; P < 0·001), tumour size (OR 4·23, 3·02 to 11·03; P = 0·001), mural nodules (OR 3·55, 1·31 to 20·55; P = 0·002) and weight loss (OR 3·40, 2·34 to 12·34; P = 0·034) were independent factors predictive of malignant transformation. Conclusions: Small indeterminate MCNs with no symptoms or features of concern may safely be observed as they have a low risk of malignant transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-446
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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