Lymphoepithelial cyst of the pancreas: No evidence for Epstein-Barr virus-related pathogenesis

Roderich E. Schwarz, Lawrence M. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Compared to pseudocyst formation after prior pancreatitis, true cysts of the pancreas are rare. Pancreatic cysts with irregular wall components or a mucinous content raise the suspicion for the presence of a cystic neoplasm, and surgical resection is recommended. A case of a patient with a history of prostate cancer is described in whom a cyst of the pancreatic tail was discovered incidentally. Based on the radiographic features, which did not support the presence of a serous cystadenoma, a spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy was performed. Histologic features were characteristic for a lymphoepithelial cyst (LEC) of the pancreas, lined with thinned squamous epithelium surrounded by benign lymphoid tissue. Since LECs of the parotid gland, which are associated with acquired human immunodeficiency, are frequently related to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, EBV in situ hybridization was performed and did not reveal evidence for EBV. Twenty- eight instances of pancreatic LECs have been reported, primarily affecting adult males, without evidence of increased numbers of EBV-positive cells. The pathogenesis, differential diagnosis, and clinical implications of lymphoepithelial pancreatic cysts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pancreatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 20 1999


  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • Lymphoepithelial cysts
  • Pancreatic cysts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology


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