Mucinous cystadenoma of the pancreas

Last revised by Jeremy Jones on 20 Sep 2021

Mucinous cystadenomas (MCN) of the pancreas are a type of mucinous cystic neoplasm of the pancreas.

Previously believed to occur exclusively in middle age females 5, it has occasionally been described in males 6,7.

It is a large uni/multilocular cystic pancreatic neoplasm lined by columnar mucinous epithelium. While mucinous cystadenomas very infrequently communicate with the pancreatic duct 13, they can cause partial pancreatic ductal obstruction 11. They are considered premalignant or malignant lesions with usually elevated CEA and CA 19-9 serum levels.

Largely (~80%) occur in the body or tail of the pancreas, and less commonly in the head of the pancreas (~20%) 11.

  • the tumor contour tends to be rounded or ovoid although this is not an absolutely specific feature 2
  • associated calcification when present tends to be more peripheral 1,11
  • contents of the lesion may be heterogenous in attenuation 2
  • internal septations may be present and tend to be linear or curvilinear 2

On ultrasound or CT consider:

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: CT
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  • Case 1: MRI
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 5
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  • Case 6
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