Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas

Dr Owen Kang and Dr Subhan Iqbal et al.

Pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma a rare exocrine pancreatic neoplasm that exemplifies ~1% of all pancreatic tumors. This tumor shows more aggressive behavior than its counterpart adenocarcinoma 1,3,4.

High levels of serum lipase noted in serum, due to hypersecretion syndrome, resulting in subcutaneous fat necrosis 2,3,5.

  • On contrast-enhanced CT imaging, pancreatic acinar cell carcinomas, generally presents as an enhancing, oval and solid pancreatic tumor
  • hypo/hyperattenuating mass relative to the pancreas, with well-distinguished margins
  • non-biliary duct dilation. Only 17% of the patients present with bile duct dilatation this is one of the differentiating features with adenocarcinoma 1
  • hypovascular tumor with adjacent organ invasion
  • internal calcification is seen in 50% of cases
  • tumor encapsulation 
  • peripancreatic lymph nodes

In cases of disease confinement to the pancreas, surgical resection is curative and in cases of distant metastasis, surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy is the treatment of choice1,2,4.

Article information

rID: 87933
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • ACC of pancreas

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: on CT
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  • Case 1: on MRI
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