The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has released a new guideline for physicians in the appropriate monitoring of patients with pancreatic cysts. The guideline has been published in Gastroenterology.

The new guideline recommends longer surveillance periods and less frequent follow-up for patients with asymptomatic pancreatic cysts. It also lists new criteria that limits surgery to those who will benefit the most. Changes from the previous AGA guideline include:

  • A two-year screening interval is recommended for cysts of any size and stopping surveillance after five years if there is no change.
  • Surgery is recommended only if if more than one concerning feature on MRI is confirmed by endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and only in centers with high volumes of pancreatic surgery.
  • Discontinue surveillance after surgery if no invasive cancer or dysplasia is identified.

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Following the recommendations should reduce inadvertent harm to patients and lower costs of healthcare delivery, members of the AGA Guidelines Committee noted.

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