Preoperative cyst fluid analysis is useful for the differential diagnosis of cystic lesions of the pancreas.Gastroenterology. 1995 Apr; 108(4):1230-5.G
It has been suggested that activity of pancreatic enzymes and concentrations of tumoral markers in cyst fluid may help to distinguish pseudocyst, serous, and mucinous cystadenomas. The aim of this study was to prospectively assess the reliability of preoperative biochemical and tumor marker analysis in cyst fluids obtained by fine-needle aspiration for pathological diagnosis.
Cyst fluid was obtained preoperatively by fine-needle aspiration, and biochemical and tumoral marker values were measured. The diagnosis of cystic tumors (7 serous cystadenomas and 12 mucinous tumors) was established by surgical specimen analysis. Thirty-one pancreatic pseudocysts complicating well-documented chronic pancreatitis were also studied.
Carbohydrate antigen 19.9 levels of > 50,000 U/mL had a 75% sensitivity and a 90% specificity for distinguishing mucinous tumors from other cystic lesions. Carcinoembryonic antigen levels of < 5 ng/mL had a 100% sensitivity and an 86% specificity for distinguishing serous cystadenomas from other cystic lesions. Amylase levels of > 5000 U/mL had a 94% sensitivity and a 74% specificity for distinguishing pseudocysts from other cystic lesions.
High carbohydrate antigen 19.9, low carcinoembryonic antigen, and high amylase levels in cyst fluid are very indicative of mucinous tumors, serous cystadenomas, and pseudocysts, respectively.