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Surgical Pathology Criteria

Pancreatic Pseudocyst


  • Pancreatic or peripancreatic cystic lesion formed by resorption of fat necrosis

Diagnostic Criteria

  • Located in or adjacent to the pancreas
  • Lacks epithelial lining
  • Wall may range from granulation tissue to fibrosis

Robert V Rouse MD
Department of Pathology
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford CA 94305-5342

Original posting: February 28, 2008
Last update: April 25, 2009

Supplemental studies

No diagnostically useful stains

Differential Diagnosis

  • Lack of epithelial lining effectively separates it from other cystic lesions
    • Requires adequate sampling
  • Adjacent stroma may be hypercellular, resembling the ovarian type stroma of mucinous cystic neoplasms
    • As above, lack of epithelial lining separates the two


  • Secondary to pancreatitis
    • Alcoholic
    • Biliary
    • Traumatic
  • No association with neoplasm
  • May erode into ducts or vessels


Cystic Pancreatic Lesions


  • Adsay NV. Cystic lesions of the pancreas. Mod Pathol. 2007 Feb;20(Supp1):S71-S93).
  • Solcia E, Capella C, Kloppel G . Tumors of the Pancreas, Atlas of Tumor Pathology, AFIP Third Series, Fascicle 20, 1997.
  • Basturk O, Coban I, Adsay NV. Pancreatic cysts: pathologic classification, differential diagnosis, and clinical implications. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2009 Mar;133(3):423-38.
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