Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the pancreas

Last revised by Mohammad Taghi Niknejad on 26 Mar 2024

Mucinous cystadenocarcinomas of the pancreas are a type of pancreatic mucinous tumor. It is considered the more malignant counterpart of a mucinous cystadenoma of the pancreas.

Like the more benign mucinous cystadenomas, these are found almost exclusively in females 4.

It is typically seen as a cystic pancreatic lesion with less numerous cysts and larger in size (with an average diameter of ~10-12 cm) than typically observed with serous cystadenomas/cystadenocarcinomas. Its external surface is often smooth, composed of unilocular or multilocular large (>2-4 cm) cysts with a thicker wall 5.

On CT, they appear round to ovoid, externally smooth, near-water-density cystic lesions. Amorphous calcifications, septations and solid excrescences may be seen. Both mucinous cystadenomas and cystadenocarcinomas do not have central scars.

Signal characteristics of the cyst(s) can vary depending on the content. Mucin components exhibit high signal on T1 while calcific components are low signal on both T1 and T2 10. Pure cystic components show low signal on T1 and high signal on T2.

While surgical resection is the standard mode of treatment, even the overtly malignant mucinous cystadenocarcinomas carry a far better prognosis than solid ductal adenocarcinomas 1.

On ultrasound or CT, consider:

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