The examination of pancreatic juice cytology could hypothetically contribute to the establishment of a definite diagnosis of malignant intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm of the pancreas (IPMN), but to the authors' knowledge, its significance has not been confirmed to date. The current study was conducted to assess the diagnostic value of pancreatic juice cytology in IPMN and to examine the usefulness of peroral pancreatoscopy (POPS) in sampling pancreatic juice.
The study subjects were comprised of 103 patients with IPMN who underwent surgical resection of pancreatic tumors (adenoma in 29 patients, borderline in 17 patients, carcinoma in situ in 25 patients, and invasive carcinoma in 32 patients). Pancreatic juice was collected with a catheter in 71 patients and by POPS in 32 patients. Patients with pancreatic carcinoma (n = 81) and chronic pancreatitis (n = 76) also were investigated.
The cytologic diagnosis was found to be of nondiagnostic value in only one patient with an IPMN, whereas it was of no diagnostic value in 14 of the patients with pancreatic carcinoma (17.3%), a difference that was statically significant (P < 0.001). The location of the IPMN (either in the pancreas or the pancreatic ducts) was not found to significantly affect the diagnostic value of the test. The sensitivity for IPMN was 62.2% when pancreatic juice was collected by POPS, and was 38.2% when it was collected using a catheter. In the case of pancreatic carcinoma, the sensitivity of pancreatic juice cytology was found to be 25.4%, which was significantly lower than that for IPMN when the pancreatic juice was collected by POPS (P < 0.001).
Pancreatic juice cytology was found to have better diagnostic value in the patients with IPMNs compared with those with pancreatic carcinoma. POPS was found to be useful for the collection of pancreatic juice.