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Objectives: Guidelines regarding the surveillance of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) are controversial because of uncertain risk of malignancy, agnosticism regarding the use of endoscopic ultrasound, and their recommendation to stop surveillance after 5 years. We present a systematic review and meta-analysis of the risk of malignancy and other end points and estimate the value of endoscopic ultrasound for surveillance.

Methods: We systematically searched MEDLINE for studies with a cohort of patients with presumed branch-duct IPMN who initially were managed nonsurgically. Data regarding study characteristics, surveillance, and outcomes were extracted. Incidence rates of morphologic progression, malignancy, surgery, and death were calculated with a random effects model.

Results: Twenty-four studies with 3440 patients and 13,097 patient-years of follow-up were included. Rates of morphologic progression, surgery, malignancy, and death were 0.0379, 0.0250, 0.0098, and 0.0043 per patient-year, respectively. Endoscopic ultrasound was not associated with significantly different rates of these outcomes.

Conclusions: The risk of malignancy calculated in this study was low and in line with recent systematic reviews. Endoscopic ultrasound does not have marginal use in surveillance. Given the limitations of a systematic review of nonrandomized studies, further studies are needed to determine the optimal surveillance of branch-duct IPMNs.

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