Von Hippel-Lindau disease-associated solid microcystic serous adenomas masquerading as pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms

University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.38). 10/2012; 152(6). DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2012.08.010
Source: PubMed


Patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) commonly develop pancreatic cysts and neuroendocrine neoplasms (PNENs or PNETs). Solid microcystic serous adenoma (SMSA), a rare neoplasm described in VHL patients, can be mistaken for PNEN on imaging.

Clinical, pathologic, and radiologic data were reviewed on VHL patients who underwent surgery for a preoperative diagnosis of PNEN since 1994 at 1 institution. Blinded to the pathologic diagnoses, radiologists reassessed available imaging.

For 55 patients, 79 pancreatectomies were performed for presumed PNENs. Ten (18%) patients underwent 12 (15%) resections for neoplasms diagnosed as SMSA on final pathology. The average size of a SMSA leading to operation was 3.6 ± 0.4 cm. Four out of 11 SMSAs were still mistaken for PNENs when imaging was reassessed. The mean FDG-positron emission tomography (PET) standardized uptake value was greater for 17 PNENs (12.1 ± 1.2) compared with 6 SMSAs (4.2 ± 0.5; P = .002). The mean doubling time of SMSAs and PNENs was similar. Seven (15%) patients with pathologically proven PNENs had malignant disease.

SMSAs can mimic PNENs on nonfunctional imaging; FDG-PET may help to differentiate them. A high index of suspicion is needed to minimize operations performed for SMSA and to counsel VHL patients of their risks of undergoing operation for a lesion with no known malignant potential.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Management of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) associated with von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) is challenging because of the malignant potential and difficulty in predicting prognosis. Objective: Compare the long-term outcome of resected VHL-PNET and sporadic PNET. Methods: Data of all patients with VHL (n = 23) operated on for nonmetastatic PNET were reviewed. Patient characteristics and recurrence-free survival rates were compared with those in patients operated on for sporadic PNET, matched for tumor size, stage, and Ki-67 index. Results: Patients in both groups had similar demographic characteristics, except that patients with VHL were younger (36 vs 56 years, P < 0.0001). Median tumor size was 30 mm. Median Ki-67 index was 3% and 4% in the VHL and sporadic groups (P = 0.95), respectively, and lymph node metastases were present in 43% and 30% of cases, respectively (P = 0.45). Sixteen (70%) patients with VHL had multiple PNET; lesions less than 15 mm were left in place in 11 patients. Median postoperative follow-up was 107 months (interquartile range, 57-124 months) and 71 months (interquartile range, 58-131 months) in the VHL and control groups, respectively. Median recurrence-free survival could not have been estimated in the VHL group due to the low number of events (hazard ratio, 5.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-22.6; P = 0.013). Five patients with VHL died (3 from VHL-related tumors including 1 from PNET), whereas only one control patient died due to unrelated causes. Conclusions: The long-term outcome of resected VHL-PNET is better than that of sporadic PNET. PNET less than 15 mm left in place did not progress. A parenchyma-sparing surgical strategy seems appropriate in patients with VHL-PNET, who may develop more life-threatening tumors of other organs.
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