Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Intrapancreatic accessory spleen with an epidermoid cyst: a malignant mimicry
  1. Jia Jia Wee1,
  2. Charles K F Vu2,
  3. Cristine Szu Lyn Ding3 and
  4. Vishal G Shelat1
  1. 1General Surgery, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore
  2. 2Gastroenterology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore
  3. 3Pathology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jia Jia Wee; jiajia.wee{at}


With the liberal use of CT scan for clinical diagnosis, clinicians are faced with an increasing number of pancreatic incidentalomas. Compared with other incidentalomas, pancreatic incidentalomas have higher chances of future malignant transformation. There are many differential diagnoses, and epidermoid cyst in an intrapancreatic accessory spleen (ECIPAS) is extremely rare, with only a handful of reports. Preoperative diagnosis is often complicated, and the final diagnosis is usually only made after surgical resection.

We report a 34-year-old man who had an incidentally noted 2.8 cm pancreatic tail cystic lesion on a CT scan done for urinary symptoms. The lesion had a solid nodular component that was worrisome for malignancy, and the patient underwent further evaluation with an MRI scan and endoscopic ultrasound of the pancreas. The differential diagnoses of cystic degeneration of neuroendocrine tumour, branch-duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm with worrisome features or ectopic intrapancreatic spleen were made. A multidisciplinary tumour board recommended surgical resection given risk features of malignancy. The patient subsequently underwent a laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy, and histology confirmed the diagnosis of ECIPAS.

Imaging characteristics of ECIPAS are non-specific, and most patients have a diagnosis made only after surgery. Therefore, more evidence is warranted for accurate preoperative imaging diagnosis to avoid unnecessary pancreatic surgery, which is not without its risks.

  • gastrointestinal surgery
  • general surgery
  • radiology

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors JJW wrote the initial draft and co-wrote the final manuscript. CKFV provided EUS images and descriptions. CSLD provided histology images and descriptions. VGS co-wrote the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.