Pseudocyst of the pancreas is sometimes difficult to distinguish from mucinous cystic neoplasm of the pancreas. A 37-year-old asymptomatic Japanese man was diagnosed with hypertension. He had a 20-years history of habitual drinking of alcohol, but no history of pancreatitis or abdominal trauma. During examinations to ascertain the cause of hypertension, ultrasonography and computed tomography incidentally demonstrated a huge cyst in the head of the pancreas. Laboratory data were within normal limits, including serum levels of amylase, carcinoembryonic antigen, and carbohydrate antigen 19-9. Imaging studies showed a huge unilocular cyst, measuring 7 cm, in the head-to-body of the pancreas, and two small unilocular cysts, measuring 1.4 and 1.5 cm, in the tail and head of the pancreas, respectively. A mural nodule was suspected in the largest cyst. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography demonstrated communication of the main pancreatic duct with the two small cysts in the head and tail of the pancreas but not with the huge cyst. There were no ductal changes suggesting chronic pancreatitis. Laparotomy was performed under the tentative diagnosis of potentially malignant mucinous cystic neoplasms of the pancreas. However, inflammatory adhesion was dense around the pancreas and the mural nodule suspected preoperatively was found to be sludge aggregates in a pseudocyst. The diagnosis of an intraoperative frozen section of the cyst wall was pseudocyst of the pancreas. Cystojejunostomy was performed. We report this case because the preoperative diagnosis was mucinous cystic neoplasm of the pancreas, but the diagnosis changed with careful intraoperative examinations, to pseudocyst of the pancreas. We discuss the differential diagnosis of the two conditions.
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