Background: Serous oligocystic adenoma (SOA), a rare pancreatic neoplasm, is generally a benign lesion without the necessity of surgery. Preoperatively, it is difficult to discriminate SOA from mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN), which essentially needs surgical treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cyst wall thickness of SOAs and MCNs for preoperative differential diagnosis. Methods: We experienced three cases of SOAs with typical histopathological features. The cyst wall thickness of the SOAs was evaluated in the area protruding out of the pancreas and was compared with that of 13 MCNs histopathologically. The same evaluation and comparison were conducted on preoperative computed tomography (CT) images retrospectively. Results: The SOAs had a uniformly thin cyst wall measuring less than 1 mm. In contrast, the largest area of a cyst wall in MCNs ranged from 2.5 to 10.0 mm. On CT images, all but one of the MCNs showed a detectable cyst wall, while the cyst walls were hardly recognizable in two of the three SOAs. Conclusions: For preoperative differentiation between SOAs and MCNs, the evaluation of cyst wall thickness may be an important tool and may contribute to the decision of treatment strategy.
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