Characterization of pancreatic serous cystadenoma on dual-phase multidetector computed tomography

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OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to characterize pancreatic serous cystadenomas on dual-phase multidetector computed tomography in a surgical series. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective review of preoperative dual-phase multidetector computed tomographic scans from 68 patients with surgically resected and pathologically confirmed pancreatic serous cystadenomas. RESULTS: Pancreatic serous cystadenomas were most commonly found in the tail (39%). The mean (SD) axial dimension was 4.5 (2.7) cm. A total of 36% contained internal calcifications. Dilatation of the main pancreatic duct (14%) and pancreatic parenchymal atrophy (11%) were uncommon. The mean (SD) attenuation of components with the highest attenuation was 49.1 (35.0) Hounsfield units on the arterial phase and 48.5 (33.4) Hounsfield units on the portal venous phase. Only 20% of neoplasms demonstrated "classic" morphology, as defined by multiple thin nonenhancing septations, calcifications, as well as the absence of main pancreatic duct dilatation and vascular involvement. CONCLUSIONS: Only 20% of surgically resected serous cystadenomas fulfilled classic morphology. Attenuation was helpful in differentiating serous cystadenomas from insulinomas and other cystic pancreatic masses, but it was not helpful in differentiation from pancreatic adenocarcinomas. Morphologic features were more helpful in differentiating serous cystadenomas from malignant masses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014



  • CT attenuation
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic neoplasm
  • Pancreatic serous cystadenoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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