Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma and Its Variants

  • Kartik Viswanathan
  • Rema RaoEmail author
Part of the Essentials in Cytopathology book series (EICP, volume 28)


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDCA) represents the most common primary pancreatic malignancy, with patients presenting with a variety of nonspecific abdominal symptoms. Radiographic studies, which include a combination of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, are useful for characterizing the lesion and for staging purposes. However, endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) is necessary for diagnosis. In addition to the conventional type of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, there are a diverse group of histologic variants. However, with the exception of colloid carcinoma, the remaining types of ductal adenocarcinoma carry a grim prognosis. An understanding of the cytomorphologic and histologic features of conventional type of ductal adenocarcinoma and the variants is important to ensure accurate diagnoses, as certain variants can have significant prognostic implications. Ancillary studies, including immunohistochemistry and molecular testing, may be useful adjuncts in distinguishing between variants.


Pancreas Ductal adenocarcinoma Variants imaging Clinical Fine needle aspiration Histology 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineWeill-Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian HospitalNew YorkUSA

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