Background The malignant potential of intraductal mucinous neoplasm of the pancreas (IPMN) is associated closely with main pancreatic duct (MPD) involvement. Because mixed-type IPMN is thought to have the same malignant potential as that of main-duct (MD)-IPMN, resection is recommended; however, the biological nature of mixed-type IPMN with only minimal involvement of MPD (min-mix-IPMN) may be different. Methods A prospective database of 404 resected IPMNs was re-reviewed to subclassify mixed-type IPMNs. We defined min-mix-IPMN as absence of gross abnormalities (except for dilatation) of MPD and noncircumferential microscopic involvement of MPD limited to few sections. Results We identified 46 min-mix-IPMNs, 163 IPMNs with extensive involvement of MPD (ex-mix-IPMN), 175 branch-duct (BD)-IPMNs, and 20 MD-IPMNs. The majority of min-mix-IPMNs were found incidentally and increased cyst size on surveillance was the leading operative indication. The median diameter of MPD was 2 mm in min-mix-IPMN versus 9 mm in ex-mix-IPMN (P <.0001), and cysts ≥10 mm were present in 62% of ex-mix-IPMNs versus 93% of min-mix-IPMNs (P <.0001). Most importantly, the vast majority of min-mix-IPMNs exhibited gastric-type epithelium, similar to BD-IPMNs, whereas intestinal-type epithelium was present in half of ex-mix-IPMNs, similar to MD-IPMNs. The prevalence of high-grade lesions was less in min-mix-IPMN than ex-mix-IPMN (P <.0001). These differences were reflected in better disease-specific outcomes of min-mix-IPMN compared with ex-mix-IPMN (P =.046). Conclusion Min-mix-IPMN often presents with no MPD dilation and is an incidental finding by microscopic examination. min-mix-IPMN shares the pathologic features and less aggressive biology with BD-IPMN. We propose that min-mix-IPMN be categorized differently than ex-mix-IPMN.
ASJC Scopus subject areas