Cysts are sacs of tissues that contain fluid, air and other material. They can appear as a lump under the skin and others grow inside the body and cannot be seen but cause symptoms. Their growth is extremely slow and they have a smooth surface.
Cysts in pancreas
The pancreas is a six inch long organ. It is positioned behind the stomach and in front of the spine and aorta. The pancreas produces digestive juices responsible for digesting food in the intestine. Cysts in the pancreas are called pancreatic cysts. They are a pool of fluid that can appear anywhere in the body, tail or head of the pancreas. There can be inflammatory and non-inflammatory cysts. Non-inflammatory cysts are true cysts lined with a specialized lining of cells that produce fluid into the cysts. Inflammatory cysts are pseudocysts that do not contain a special lining of cells. Pseudocysts are connected to pancreatic ducts and contain digestive juices. Usually pancreatic cysts are benign and small and are asymptomatic. There are others which are large and could cause symptoms. These could be precancerous cysts which have a potential to turn cancerous.
Pancreatic Cyst Causes
- Pancreatitis: The cause of pseudocysts or inflammatory cysts in the pancreas is acute pancreatitis. And the cause of acute pancreatitis is gall stones, trauma and alcoholism.
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease: It is a rare genetic disorder that can affect the pancreas and other organs.
Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cyst
- Abdominal pain and back pain
- Jaundice: yellow skin and eyes along with dark urine can be caused by small or large cysts in the head of the pancreas.
- Sepsis, chills and fever: when cyst becomes infected
- Vomiting: due to large pseudocysts compressing the stomach leading to obstruction of food
Pancreatic Cyst Diagnosis
CT Scan can help predict the structure of the pancreatic cyst
Endoscopic ultrasound provides a detailed imagery of the cyst and the fluid collected from the cyst can undergo laboratory tests to assess its malignancy.
MRI scan can highlight the perceptive details and if it contains any solid components
Previous medical history of abdominal trauma or pancreatitis can indicate the presence of pancreatic cysts.