Published online Apr 7, 2012. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i13.1538
Revised: January 24, 2011
Accepted: January 31, 2011
Published online: April 7, 2012
Pancreatic schwannomas are rare neoplasms. Authors briefly describe a 64-year-old female patient with cystic pancreatic schwannoma mimicking other cystic tumors and review the literature. Databases for PubMed were searched for English-language articles from 1980 to 2010 using a list of keywords, as well as references from review articles. Only 41 articles, including 47 cases, have been reported in the English literature. The mean age was 55.7 years (range 20-87 years), with 45% of patients being male. Mean tumor size was 6.2 cm (range 1-20 cm). Tumor location was the head (40%), head and body (6%), body (21%), body and tail (15%), tail (4%), and uncinate process (13%). Thirty-four percent of patients exhibited solid tumors and 60% of patients exhibited cystic tumors. Treatment included pancreaticoduodenectomy (32%), distal pancreatectomy (21%), enucleation (15%), unresectable (4%), refused operation (2%) and the detail of resection was not specified in 26% of patients. No patients died of disease with a mean follow-up of 15.7 mo (range 3-65 mo), although 5 (11%) patients had a malignancy. The tumor size was significantly related to malignant tumor (13.8 ± 6.2 cm for malignancy vs 5.5 ± 4.4 cm for benign, P = 0.001) and cystic formation (7.9 ± 5.9 cm for cystic tumor vs 3.9 ± 2.4 cm for solid tumor, P = 0.005). The preoperative diagnosis of pancreatic schwannoma remains difficult. Cystic pancreatic schwannomas should be considered in the differential diagnosis of cystic neoplasms and pseudocysts. In our case, intraoperative frozen section confirmed the diagnosis of a schwannoma. Simple enucleation may be adequate, if this is possible.