Systematic Reviews
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Hepatol. Dec 18, 2016; 8(35): 1576-1583
Published online Dec 18, 2016. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v8.i35.1576
Intrahepatic pancreatic pseudocyst: A review of the world literature
Andrew Demeusy, Motahar Hosseini, Anne M Sill, Steven C Cunningham
Andrew Demeusy, Motahar Hosseini, Anne M Sill, Steven C Cunningham, Department of Surgery, Saint Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21229, United States
Author contributions: Demeusy A and Cunningham SC designed and performed the research; Sill AM contributed analytic tools; Demeusy A, Sill AM and Cunningham SC analyzed the data; Demeusy A, Hosseini M and Cunningham SC wrote the paper; all authors drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content, and approved the current version.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this study.
Data sharing statement: There are no additional data available for this study.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Steven C Cunningham, MD, FACS, Director of Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Surgery, Director of Research, Department of Surgery, Saint Agnes Hospital, 900 Caton Avenue, MB 207, Baltimore, MD 21229, United States.
Telephone: +1-410-3688815 Fax: +1-410-7190094
Received: June 25, 2016
Peer-review started: June 28, 2016
First decision: September 7, 2016
Revised: September 26, 2016
Accepted: November 1, 2016
Article in press: November 2, 2016
Published online: December 18, 2016

To investigate and summarize the literature regarding the diagnosis and management of intrahepatic pancreatic pseudocysts (IHPP).


A literature search was performed using PubMed (MEDLINE) and Google Scholar databases, followed by a manual review of reference lists to ensure that no articles were missed. All articles, case reports, systematic reviews, letters to editors, and abstracts were analyzed and tabulated. Bivariate analyses were performed, with significance accepted at P < 0.05. Articles included were primarily in the English language, and articles in other languages were reviewed with native speakers or, if none available, were translated with electronic software when possible.


We found 41 published articles describing 54 cases since the 1970s, with a fairly steady rate of publication. Patients were predominantly male, with a mean age of 49 years. In 42% of published cases, the IHPP was the only reported pseudocyst, but 58% also had concurrent pseudocysts in other extrapancreatic locations. Average IHPP size was 9.5 cm and they occurred most commonly (48%) in the left hemiliver. Nearly every reported case was managed with an intervention, most with a single intervention, but some required up to three interventions. Percutaneous treatment with either simple aspiration or with an indwelling drain were the most common interventions, frequently performed along with stenting of the pancreatic duct. The size of the IHPP correlated significantly with both the duration of treatment (P = 0.006) and with the number of interventions required (P = 0.031). The duration of therapy also correlated with the initial white blood cell (WBC) count (P = 0.048).


Diagnosis of IHPP is difficult and often missed. Initial size and WBC are predictive of the treatment required. With appropriate intervention, most patients achieve resolution.

Keywords: Pseudocyst, Intrahepatic, Percutaneous, Pancreatic, Drainage

Core tip: Intrahepatic pancreatic pseudocysts (IHPPs) are rare and the pathophysiology is not entirely clear, but they likely result from proteolytic pancreatic fluid tracking from the pancreas into the surrounding tissue. This fluid may then migrate along planes such as the hepatogastric or hepatoduodenal ligaments, to penetrate the hepatic parenchyma. The initial size of the IHPP and the initial white blood cell are predictive of the number of treatments required and the overall duration of treatment required. Percutaneous approaches have been successful and result in good clinical outcomes.