A clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 22 intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas, with a review of the literature

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Modern Pathology






Immunohistochemistry; Intraductal; Mucinous; Neoplasms; Pancreas; Papillary


Intraductal papillary-mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) of the pancreas are rare lesions. We undertook this study to analyze these tumors by focusing on the diagnostic criteria and correlating the histologic features with clinical prognosis. Twenty-two cases of IPMN were retrieved from the Endocrine Tumor Registry of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Blocks or unstained slides were available for histochemical and immunohistochemical studies (including proliferative markers and cell cycle regulators) and K-ras oncogene mutations in 15 cases. Patient follow-up was obtained in all of the cases. IPMN occurs in both genders with a slight male predominance, with a mean age at presentation of 64.4 years (range, 48-85 yr). The patients presented with abdominal pain. The neoplasms were radiologically and grossly cystic, usually (18 cases of 22) located in the head of the pancreas. Histologically, the tumors consisted of intraductal papillary proliferations protruding into and expanding the pancreatic ducts. Invasion into the surrounding pancreatic parenchyma was detected in 15 cases. Chronic pancreatitis was present in all of the cases, p27 immunoreactivity always exceeded the immunoreactivity of cyclin E. K-ras oncogene mutations were detected in two cases. Patients were treated with a complete surgical resection (n = 7) or a Whipple procedure (n = 13). Only 2 of 22 patients died of disease (3 died immediately postoperatively and 3 died of unrelated causes), whereas the remaining 14 patients were alive at last follow-up, without evidence of disease, an average of 58.2 months after initial presentation. IPMNs are rare, distinctive neoplasms, with complex intraductal papillae, that can be easily separated from in situ ductal adenocarcinoma and mucinous cystic neoplasms. The high ratio of p27 protein to cyclin E supports the excellent prognosis of these neoplasms, despite the presence of invasion and K-ras oncogene mutation.

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