Natural history of pancreatic cystic lesions: A multicenter prospective observational study for evaluating the risk of pancreatic cancer

NSPINAL study group

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Background and Aim: The aim of this study is to elucidate the natural history of pancreatic cystic lesions (PCLs), including branch duct-type intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (BD-IPMN), via midterm follow-up analysis of a multicenter prospective observational study (NSPINAL study). Methods: From July 2011 to October 2016, 881 patients with PCLs were enrolled in NSPINAL study, and 664 patients with > 12 months of follow up were analyzed. Every patient was asymptomatic, and endoscopic ultrasound was performed at the initial diagnosis to exclude high-risk individuals. Follow up included endoscopic ultrasound, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging at least once a year. Serial morphological changes and the pancreatic cancer (PC) incidence, including malignant progression of PCLs, were evaluated. Results: The 664 patients (358 men) were followed for a median of 33.5 months (interquartile range 29). The cyst and main pancreatic duct sizes were 16.6 ± 9.3 and 2.3 ± 1.0 mm, respectively. Morphologically, 518 cases were multilocular, 137 were unilocular, and 9 had a honeycomb pattern; 269 cases involved multifocal lesions. Ninety-six patients (14.5%) showed worsening progression on imaging. There were two resectable and four unresectable cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and three cases of malignant BD-IPMN. The 3-year risk of developing PC was 1.2%. The standardized incidence ratio for PC among PCLs was 10.0 (95% confidence interval 3.5–16.5), and the standardized incidence ratio among BD-IPMN was 16.6 (95% confidence interval 5.1–28.1). Multivariate analysis showed that development of symptoms and worsening progression were significant predictors of PC. Conclusions: Malignant progression of PCLs, including PC development, is not uncommon. Patients with PCLs should be carefully monitored to detect pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma at early stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-328
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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