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Q. How does a cystic structure differ from a cyst?

Answered by
Dr. Anshul Varshney
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 15, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jul 13, 2019

Hi doctor,

I had a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis with IV contrast. The radiologist report is as follows. The findings are as follows. There is a 0.9 cm cystic structure in the uncinate process, which is new since the comparative examination with the last year scan report. This should be further evaluated with endoscopic ultrasound. Cavernous hemangioma in the right hepatic lobe. Cholecystectomy. Left renal cyst and angiomyolipoma. There is no adenopathy. Mild degenerative changes in the spine and hips. The impression is new cystic structure in the uncinate process of the pancreas, maybe an IPMN. Endoscopic ultrasound is recommended for further evaluation. My doctor just scheduled an endoscopy for me. I would like to get an explanation of IPMN and the percentage that it can turn malignant. I also want to understand how a cystic structure differs from a cyst. I am 55 years old. My father died of pancreatic cancer when he was 73. My mother had a pancreatic insulinoma. Are there any specific questions that I should ask my doctor during the follow-up visit after the endoscope?

Dr. Anshul Varshney

Critical Care Physician Diabetology General Medicine Internal Medicine Medical Gastroenterology Nephrology Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors) Rheumatology


Welcome to

We are here to help you.

  • Cystic structure or cyst is the same thing. Actually cyst is completely surrounded by a wall while your radiologist might have seen a structure similar to cyst with ill-defined walls.
  • Radiology is not the answer to your question. You will get your answer from a pathologist.
  • You need an endoscopic biopsy of the cyst or cystic structure to see whether it is benign or malignant.
  • You should also go for CA 19-9 levels (tumor marker) along with serum insulin levels.

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online -->

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