The cytological spectrum of chronic pancreatitis

Edward B. Stelow, Ricardo H. Bardales, Rebecca Lai, James S Mallery, Bradley M. Linzie, Gretchen S. Crary, Michael W. Stanley

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35 Scopus citations


Chronic pancreatitis (CP) refers to a spectrum of changes generally seen after repeated injury that ranges histologically from mild fibrosis to extensive fibroinflammatory replacement of acinar tissue with accumulation of calcific debris. Because CP can share clinical and radiological features with malignancy, it often is sampled by fine-needle aspiration (FNA). The cytology files at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) were searched for 20 consecutive cases of CP sampled by FNA. Clinical data and cytological findings were recorded. A spectrum of cytological findings typifies aspirates of CP. In most cases, mixed inflammation with debris and calcific material is present. Often, ductal cells are present and at most show mild atypia but generally appear organized. Often, fibrotic acinar tissue also is present while definitive islets are identified only rarely. Although these cytological findings were consistent with CP, 3 of 17 patients with follow-up were found to have pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Cytology
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Fine needle aspiration
  • Pancreas


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