Serous Cystadenoma Of Pancreas: Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis

Serous cystadenomas are benign tumors which are composed of small cystic spaces that are lined by tiny cuboidal cells containing glycogen. These tumor masses are commonly seen in the head, neck, or the uncinate process of the pancreas, and a few form in the body or tail of the pancreas.

Distinct from some of the other cyst forming neoplasms of the pancreas, serous cystic neoplasms are usually entirely benign.

On the other hand, rare cases have been reported that have isolated malignant serous cystadenocarcinomas as well. Also, serous cystic neoplasms grow slowly; they may grow very large and can bear down on to adjacent structures and compress them.

Risk Factors For Serous Cystadenoma Of Pancreas

  • The precise causative factor for serous cystadenoma of the pancreas is unknown.
  • The cause is chiefly genetic mutations.
  • Smoking is one of the most vital risk factors for its development.
  • People who have neglected or poorly controlled diabetes mellitus are at huge risk.
  • Family history also plays a pivotal role.
  • Chronic pancreatitis increases the risk as well. Alcohol consumption increases the vulnerability to developing pancreatitis.
  • Obese people are known to develop serous tumors.
  • An exposure to certain chemicals, for a protracted interval of time, principally because of your residential location or occupation.

Symptoms Of Serous Cystadenoma Of Pancreas

  • The most common symptoms of serous cystadenomas of the pancreas are – pain in the abdomen, a sensation of fullness, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, a mass in the abdomen, and fatigue.
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss are seen as well.
  • Some people develop pancreatitis.
  • Occasionally, there may be no symptoms at all; the condition may be asymptomatic. The tumor may get detected accidentally whilst screening for some other disorder.
  • Diabetes mellitus may also be a presenting feature.

Diagnosis & Treatment Of Serous Cystadenoma Of Pancreas

  • Since there is considerable overlapping in the imaging findings of serous and mucinous pancreatic tumors, these tumors need to be followed up with close watch via CT scans to evaluate the interval growth in case aspiration has not been carried out.
  • Diagnosis of serous cystadenoma must be made with complete caution. In case a mucinous cystic mass has been diagnosed erroneously as a serous cystadenoma and if the CT or MRI scan has not performed, serious consequences could result.
  • A CT scan, MRI, an endoscopic ultrasound and MRCP help establish the correct diagnosis. These investigations demonstrate a cystic mass within the pancreas. Investigations show that the cysts and the pancreatic ducts do not communicate with each other. Sometimes, a fine needle aspiration biopsy needs to be done so that the exact diagnosis can be made. Fine needle aspiration biopsy is carried out via an endoscope during the ultrasound or via the skin using a needle guided by CT scanning.
  • These tumor masses are benign and usually asymptomatic; they seldom need surgical intervention unless symptomatic or the diagnosis is doubtful. Given that, these lesions do not turn malignant, continuing surveillance isn’t necessary; however, do go for periodic follow-ups.
  • Surgery includes the excision of the head or body or tail of the pancreas, or occasionally, the removal of the entire pancreas. Surgery is done using minimally invasive techniques such as laproscopy.