Background and Aims: Intraductal papillary-mucinous tumor (IPMT) of the pancreatic ducts is increasingly recognized. This study investigated if clinical, imaging, or histological features predicted outcome, formulated a treatment algorithm, and clarified relationships among IPMT, mucinous cystic neoplasms of the pancreas (MCN), and chronic pancreatitis. Methods: The medical records, radiographs, and pathological specimens of 15 patients with IPMT (dilated main pancreatic duct or branch ducts with mucin overproduction) who were evaluated between October 1983 and January 1994 were reviewed. Results: One patient had hepatic metastases. Fourteen underwent an operation (6 distal pancreatectomy, 4 total pancreatectomy, and 4 pancreaticoduodenectomy); all had dysplastic intraductal epithelium and chronic pancreatitis, whereas 3 had invasive adenocarcinoma. After a median of 25 months, 10 patients were alive; 3 of 4 with malignant and 2 of 11 with benign IPMT died (P < 0.05). Patients with or without carcinoma had similar clinical and radiographic features. A clinical diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis had been made in 9 patients with benign IMPT and in none with malignant IPMT (P < 0.05). Conclusions: IPMT is a dysplastic and likely precancerous lesion that is frequently diagnosed as chronic pancreatitis and is separate from MCN. Because it is not possible to distinguish noninvasive from invasive IPMT preoperatively, complete surgical excision of the dysplastic process is our treatment of choice whenever appropriate.
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