Pancreatic cystic lesions are relatively common imaging findings and may be secondary to both benign and malignant disease processes. Accurate characterization of the internal features of a cyst-including fluid, hemorrhage, septa, and enhancing soft-tissue components-is important to guide the differential diagnosis, and cross-sectional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is the optimal modality for depicting these features. Cystic lesions of the pancreas may be divided into two categories: (a) primary cystic lesions, which include pseudocysts, serous cystadenomas, various mucin-containing cysts (mucinous nonneoplastic cysts, mucinous cystadenomas, mucinous cystadenocarcinomas, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms), and lymphoepithelial cysts, and (b) various solid neoplasms undergoing cystic changes (ductal adenocarcinoma with cystic features, pseudopapillary tumors of the pancreas, and cystic neuroendocrine tumors). Primary cystic lesions are more common than solid neoplasms with cystic changes. Knowledge of the varied MR imaging appearances of pancreatic cystic lesions may help radiologists achieve greater specificity in diagnostic reporting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging