• Pancreas;
  • Metastasis;
  • Fine-needle aspiration biopsy


There is relatively little information concerning the use of fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) to diagnose a mass in the pancreas that is secondary to metastatic tumor. This study reviews the incidence and types of neoplasms which metastasize to the pancreas and assesses the contribution FNAB can make in their diagnosis. of 117 radiologically guided FNABs of the pancreas, 11% (n = 13) showed metastatic malignancy. Nine patients had a previous history of malignancy while four patients presented with a pancreatic mass and were subsequently found to have widespread malignant disease. the majority of metastatic lesions were epithelial (77%, n = 10). Patient outcomes were generally poor (mean survival 2.8 mo). Metastases to the pancreas occur from a variety of primary sites and should be considered in patients with a pancreatic mass and a history of prior malignancy. FNAB is useful in diagnosing these metastases and this is clinically important because of their poor prognosis.