Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Surg. Mar 27, 2016; 8(3): 202-211
Published online Mar 27, 2016. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v8.i3.202
Current perspectives on pancreatic serous cystic neoplasms: Diagnosis, management and beyond
Xiao-Peng Zhang, Zhong-Xun Yu, Yu-Pei Zhao, Meng-Hua Dai
Xiao-Peng Zhang, Zhong-Xun Yu, Yu-Pei Zhao, Meng-Hua Dai, Department of General Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China
Xiao-Peng Zhang, Yu-Pei Zhao, Meng-Hua Dai, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, China
Zhong-Xun Yu, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Author contributions: Zhang XP and Dai MH formatted the review; Yu ZX performed the literature review; Zhang XP and Yu ZX wrote the paper; Zhao YP and Dai MH edited and finalized the paper.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declared that there is no conflict of interest related to this paper.
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 Non Commercial (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: Meng-Hua Dai, MD, Professor, Department of General Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, No. 1, Shuaifuyuan Wangfujing, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100730, China.
Telephone: +86-10-69156021 Fax: +86-10-69156021
Received: December 16, 2015
Peer-review started: December 17, 2015
First decision: January 4, 2016
Revised: January 17, 2016
Accepted: February 16, 2016
Article in press: February 17, 2016
Published online: March 27, 2016

Pancreatic cystic neoplasms have been increasingly recognized recently. Comprising about 16% of all resected pancreatic cystic neoplasms, serous cystic neoplasms are uncommon benign lesions that are usually asymptomatic and found incidentally. Despite overall low risk of malignancy, these pancreatic cysts still generate anxiety, leading to intensive medical investigations with considerable financial cost to health care systems. This review discusses the general background of serous cystic neoplasms, including epidemiology and clinical characteristics, and provides an updated overview of diagnostic approaches based on clinical features, relevant imaging studies and new findings that are being discovered pertaining to diagnostic evaluation. We also concisely discuss and propose management strategies for better quality of life.

Keywords: Pancreatic cystic neoplasm, Serous cystic neoplasm, Diagnosis, Management strategy, Surgery

Core tip: Pancreatic cystic neoplasms (PCNs) have been more frequently recognized clinically in recent years and serous cystic neoplasms (SCNs) account for a large proportion of all PCN cases. Recent reviews have paid much attention to general aspects of PCNs and have discussed various subtypes of PCNs, but there is still a lack of comprehensive review exclusively focused on SCNs. This review attempts to provide a concise overview and outlook of pancreatic SCN and propose management strategies.