An illustrated consensus on the classification of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms

Ralph H. Hruban, Kyoichi Takaori, David S. Klimstra, N. Volkan Adsay, Jorge Albores-Saavedra, Andrew V. Biankin, Sandra A. Biankin, Carolyn Compton, Noriyoshi Fukushima, Toru Furukawa, Michael Goggins, Yo Kato, Gunter Kloppel, Daniel S. Longnecker, Jutta Luttges, Anirban Maitra, G. Johan A. Offerhaus, Michio Shimizu, Suguru Yonezawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

894 Scopus citations


Invasive pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is an almost uniformly fatal disease. Several distinct noninvasive precursor lesions can give rise to invasive adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, and the prevention, detection, and treatment of these noninvasive lesions offers the potential to cure early pancreatic cancers. Noninvasive precursors of invasive ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas include pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias (PanINs), intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), and mucinous cystic neoplasms. Diagnostic criteria, including a distinct ovarian-type stroma, and a consistent nomenclature are well established for mucinous cystic neoplasms. By contrast, consistent nomenclatures and diagnostic criteria have been more difficult to establish for PanINs and IPMNs. Because both PanINs and IPMNs consist of intraductal neoplastic proliferations of columnar, mucin-containing cells with a variable degree of papilla formation, the distinction between these two classes of precursor lesions remains problematic. Thus, considerable ambiguities still exist in the classification of noninvasive neoplasms in the pancreatic ducts. A meeting of international experts on precursor lesions of pancreatic cancer was held at The Johns Hopkins Hospital from August 18 to 19, 2003. The purpose of this meeting was to define an international acceptable set of diagnostic criteria for PanINs and IPMNs and to address a number of ambiguities that exist in the previously reported classification systems for these neoplasms. We present a consensus classification of the precursor lesions in the pancreatic ducts, PanINs and IPMNs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-987
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Diagnosis
  • Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN)
  • Pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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