This study will investigate which approach, less frequent monitoring or more frequent monitoring, will lead to better outcomes for patients with pancreatic cysts.
Both methods use the same tests: either CT or MRI and endoscopic ultrasounds (also known as an EUS) where a machine uses sound waves to create images. The less frequent monitoring is based on guidelines created by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), while the more frequent monitoring is based on another set of guidelines known as the Fukuoka guidelines created from a group conference that agreed on the recommendations.
Both the AGA and the Fukuoka guidelines are used in practice today. Both methods use CT or MRI tests periodically. If there is a change in size, shape or other characteristics of a cyst, then patients often receive an EUS. Surgery is sometimes needed to determine whether the cysts are cancerous and to treat the cysts that progress to pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, to date we have not found a good way to predict which cyst might progress to cancer and which ones will not.