Pancreatic mucinous ductal ectasia and intraductal papillary neoplasms: A single malignant clinicopathologic entity

Jaime A. Rivera, Carlos Fernández Del Castillo, Michael Pins, Carolyn C. Compton, Kent B. Lewandrowski, David W. Rattner, Andrew L. Warshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of the study is to review a single institutional experience with mucinous ductal ectasia (MDE) and intraductal papillary neoplasms (IPNs) and to compare the clinicopathologic features of the two groups of tumors. Summary Background Data: Mucinous ductal ectasia and IPNs represent newly recognized categories of pancreatic exocrine tumors, previously confused with pancreatic cystic neoplasms. The natural history of MDE and IPN is not well understood, and it is unclear whether MDE and IPN represent two distinct tumors or the same clinicopathologic entity. Methods: The authors reviewed the clinical presentation, treatment, histopathology, and outcomes of 23 patients diagnosed with MDE or IPN at their institution over the past 6 years. Results. The mean age at presentation for the cohort of patients with MDE and IPN was 62.5 years. The prevalence of abdominal pain was 75%, jaundice 25%, weight loss 42%, steatorrhea 37.5%, diabetes 37.5%, and history of pancreatitis 29%. Serum CA 19-9 levels ranged from 0 to 5350 units/mL with high levels reflecting advanced disease. There were no significant differences between MDE and IPN with respect to these parameters. Both MDE and IPN comprised papillary villous epithelial neoplasms involving the main and large pancreatic ducts. The tumors ranged from a few millimeters in size to panductal and were distinguished easily from cystic neoplasms in all cases. Invasive carcinoma was present in 11 (46%) of 24 patients, carcinoma in situ in an additional 10 (42%) of 24 patients, and low grade dysplasia in the remaining 3 (12%) of 24 patients. Mucinous ductal ectasia and IPN differed histopathologically only in degree of mucin secretion and tumor location. Mucinous ductal ectasia, but not IPN, was characteristically mucin-hypersecreting and more frequently involved the head of the gland than did IPN (11/16 vs. 1/8, p <0.04). All patients were explored surgically and 20 (83%) of 24 of the tumors were resectable with frozen section control of the duct margins (9 pancreatoduodenectomies, 4 distal pancreatectomies, 7 total pancreatectomies). Despite the 88% prevalence of cancer, the overall survival at a mean follow-up of 21 months was 13 (87%) of 15 for MDE and 5 (71%) of 7 for IPN. Conclusions: Intraductal papillary neoplasms with or without MDE represent a spectrum of main duct papillary tumors ranging from adenoma to carcinoma with differing amounts of extracellular mucin production. Malignant IPNs with or without MDE typically exhibit extensive intraductal growth but are slow to invade the periductal tissues and slow to metastasize. The majority of patients with these tumors have resectable disease and a favorable prognosis; endoscopic therapy is inappropriate. The encompassing term intraductal papillary mucinous tumors is appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-646
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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