Johns Hopkins Pathology

Key Points:
  • Most common cyst type
  • Also known as "postnecrotic pseudocyst"
  • Result of acute or chronic pancreatitis

Pseudocysts are grossly visible and well-demarcated cystic lesion, which contain necrotic-hemorrhagic material and/or turbid fluid rich in pancreatic enzymes. The cystic contents are enclosed by a wall of inflammatory and fibrous tissue devoid of an epithelial lining. Pseudocysts are due to extensive confluent autodigestive tissue necrosis caused by alcoholic, biliary, or traumatic acute pancreatitis, that is why they are also called “postnecrotic pseudocysts.”

Pseudocysts are the most common pancreatic cyst type. They account for approximately 75% of pancreatic cystic lesions. They are usually a result of acute or chronic pancreatitis. Whereas many fluid collections related to acute pancreatitis tend to resolve spontaneously pseudocysts can develop when an intra- or extrapancreatic fluid collection is walled off. The incidence of pseudocysts following acute pancreatitis has been estimated at 2-3%.


© Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions