Follow-up of asymptomatic pancreatic cysts in clinical practice: A vignette questionnaire
Pancreatology , Volume 16 - Issue 3 p. 416- 422
Background/Objectives: In absence of evidence-based guidelines of pancreatic cystic neoplasms (PCN), the management might vary among physicians. The aim of this survey was to assess the attitude of Dutch gastroenterologists (GE) towards the management of asymptomatic PCNs. Methods: An anonymous online questionnaire was distributed to all practicing GE (n = 381) in The Netherlands, in which four vignette patients with PCN were presented. Results: In total 45% of GE responded. Most respondents would perform surveillance for a 10 mm PCN (78%) mainly with an interval of one year (57%). A shorter interval of three (26%) or six (57%) months was chosen for a 25 mm BD-IPMN. Ultrasound was recommended for surveillance by 19% for a 10 mm cyst. GE with EUS experience were more likely to apply EUS for surveillance of 10 mm cyst than those without (56% vs 28%; p < 0.001). The presence of a branch-duct intraductal mucinous neoplasm (BD-IPMN) with a mural nodule, dilated pancreatic duct (8 mm) or increased serum CA 19.9 (300 U/ml) were considered an indication for resection by respectively 88%, 68% and 51% of respondents. Conclusion: Dutch GE demonstrate substantial variability in the management of asymptomatic PCNs. A significant proportion of general GE still use ultrasound for surveillance of small PCNs, while GE with EUS experience were more likely to perform EUS. The presence of risk factors for malignant degeneration of IPMN were not recognized by a substantial proportion of GE. Data on the natural history of PCNs is required to provide input for evidence-based guidelines, which should lead to a more uniform approach.