Mucinous Cystic Neoplasm

Mucinous Cystic Neoplasm

Mari Mino-Kenudson, MD

Gross photograph of a mucinous cystic neoplasm features a unilocular cyst with a smooth, partially discolored lining located in the tail of the pancreas.

This mucinous cystic neoplasm contains a thick fibrous wall with ovarian-type stroma located underneath the epithelial lining image and extending into the periductal regions image.



  • Mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN)


  • Neoplasm composed of mucin-producing epithelial cells associated with ovarian-type stroma


Developmental Anomaly

  • May develop from endodermal immature stroma (periductal stroma) stimulated by female hormones

  • May develop from primary yolk cells implanted in pancreas during embryogenesis



  • Incidence

    • 10% of cystic lesions in pancreas

  • Age

    • Average age at diagnosis: 40-50 years

    • Range: 14-95 years

  • Gender

    • Predominantly female (female to male ratio is 20:1)


  • Vague abdominal symptoms associated with compression of adjacent organs and tissues; may include epigastric pain and abdominal fullness


  • Excellent prognosis for patients with benign MCN and MCN with noninvasive carcinoma

  • 5-year survival rate of 50% for invasive MCN

    • Extent of invasion (confined to pancreas vs. beyond tumor capsule) and age of patient (lower survival rate > 50 years) correlates with survival


CT Findings

  • Usually large, well-demarcated, thick-walled multilocular cystic mass with peripheral calcification (present in 20% of cases)

  • Mural nodules and papillary excrescences are more common in mucinous cystic neoplasms with invasive component

ERCP Findings

  • Main pancreatic duct and large interlobular ducts do not communicate with cysts in majority of cases


Jul 7, 2016 | Posted by in PATHOLOGY & LABORATORY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Mucinous Cystic Neoplasm

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