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Abstract

Cystic neoplasms of the pancreas are rare. They may present as a mucinous (malignant or potentially malignant) tumour or as benign serous cystadenoma. Accurate preoperative diagnosis is therefore essential, as an asymptomatic serous tumour may safely be followed clinically for years, whereas mucinous tumours require aggressive surgery. Thirteen patients with cystadenoma and cystadenocarcinoma of the pancreas were reviewed and how best to improve the rate of preoperative diagnosis was considered. Fine-needle aspiration cytology and computed tomography enable accurate preoperative distinction between mucinous and serous cystic tumours of the pancreas.