Home | About CytoJournalEditorial Board | Archived articles | Search CytoJ Articles | Subscribe | Peer review policies | CytoJournal Quiz Cases
  Reviewer corner | Author corner | OA Steward’s corner | CF member’s corner | Join as CF member | Manuscript submission | Open Access (OA) Advocacy
CytoJournal All 'FULL TEXT' in HTML are FREE under "open access" charter of CytoJournal.
To login for downloading any PDF OR to request TOC (Table of Content) by e-mail, please click here
Home Email this page Print this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size Cytopathology Foundation
Navigate here
Resource links
 »  Similar in PUBMED
 »  Search Pubmed for
 »  Search in Google Scholar for
 »  Article in PDF (1,095 KB)
 »  Citation Manager
 »  Access Statistics
 »  Reader Comments
 »  Email Alert *
 »  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
 » Question
 » Answer
 »  Additional Quiz ...
 »  Answers for Addi...
 »  Brief Review of ...
 » Ancillary Studies
 »  Other Helpful Im...
 » Summary
 »  Competing Intere...
 »  Authorship State...
 »  Ethics Statement...
 »  List of Abbrevia...
 »  References
 »  Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded162    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Browse articles
CytoJournal 2017,  14:8

Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of hyperenhancing lesion suspicious for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor in the tail of pancreas-potential pitfalls

Department of Pathology, Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA

Date of Submission31-May-2016
Date of Acceptance19-Aug-2016
Date of Web Publication28-Apr-2017

Correspondence Address:
Kinda Hayek
Department of Pathology, Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1742-6413.205311

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Hayek K, Kalinicheva T, Shidham VB. Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of hyperenhancing lesion suspicious for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor in the tail of pancreas-potential pitfalls. CytoJournal 2017;14:8

How to cite this URL:
Hayek K, Kalinicheva T, Shidham VB. Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of hyperenhancing lesion suspicious for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor in the tail of pancreas-potential pitfalls. CytoJournal [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 11];14:8. Available from: http://www.cytojournal.com/text.asp?2017/14/1/8/205311

Editorial/Peer Review Statement
To ensure the integrity and highest quality of CytoJournal publications, the review process of this manuscript was conducted under a double blind model (authors are blinded for reviewers and vice versa) through automatic online system.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a 1 cm hyperenhancing lesion in the tail of the pancreas in a 37-year-old female with past medical history significant for interstitial lung disease due to mixed connective tissue disease (rheumatoid arthritis/systemic lupus erythematosus). Partial pancreatectomy was recommended due to high suspicion of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PanNET), but the patient was reluctant. An upper endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) was ordered.

 » Question Top

What is your interpretation?

  1. Peripancreatic lymph node
  2. Intrapancreatic accessory spleen (IPAS)
  3. PanNET
  4. Lymphoepithelial cyst.

 » Answer Top

B. Intrapancreatic accessory spleen (IPAS).

MRI showed hyperenhancing lesion in the tail of the pancreas. Moreover, the upper EUS showed mild chronic pancreatitis changes and unremarkable pancreatic duct along with the 1 cm tail of pancreas lesion. Considering the clinical information and the results of the EUS-FNA, the main differential diagnosis included IPAS, PanNET (islet cell tumor), lymphoepithelial cyst, solid pseudopapillary neoplasm, chronic pancreatitis, and lymphoma.

Features favoring IPAS over other differential diagnosis are as follow:

  • Presence of abundant mature small lymphocytes admixed with chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate including plasma cells and neutrophils
  • Presence of lymphocyte tangles with crush artifact
  • Presence of large aggregate of platelets
  • Absence of epithelial squamous cells
  • Absence of malignant cells and papillary structures
  • Clinical history in conjunction with imaging findings.

Unfortunately, the cell block section was negative for diagnostic materials precluding further workup studies such as immunohistochemistry staining to further confirm the diagnosis.

The patient is being followed up regularly for her interstitial lung disease, and 5 months later, she has no significant gastrointestinal symptoms.

 » Additional Quiz Questions Top

  1. Which immunohistochemistry stain helps confirm the diagnosis of IPAS?

    1. CD56
    2. CD8
    3. Beta-catenin
    4. CD45.

  2. All of the following are cytologic features of IPAS except

    1. Lymphocytes tangles
    2. Tangible body macrophages and germinal center fragments
    3. Platelet clusters
    4. Clusters and singly scattered spindle cells.

  3. The most common site of accessory spleen

    1. Head of the pancreas
    2. Tail of the pancreas
    3. Hilum of the spleen
    4. Omentum.

 » Answers for Additional Quiz Questions Top

  1. (B): Immunostains for CD8 highlights the traversing vessels confirming the presence of sinusoidal endothelial cells of IPAS. The cells of pancreatic endocrine tumor are usually reactive for CD56. CD45 highlights lymphocytes. Beta-catenin is positive in solid pseudopapillary tumor of the pancreas.
  2. (B): IPAS show lymphocytic tangles with platelets aggregates. Bland-looking spindle cells are also present. Tingible body macrophages are not a feature of IPAS.
  3. (C): The most common location of IPAS is the hilum of the spleen. The most common location in pancreas is in the tail. All others are relatively uncommon locations for IPAS.

 » Brief Review of the Topic Top

The most common site for accessory spleen is the splenic hilum and the second most common location is the pancreas.[1] IPAS is a benign congenital lesion of the pancreas that results from entrapment of portion of the spleen in the dorsal pancreatic bud during embryologic development.[2],[3] IPAS affects approximately 10% of the population with 15%–20% of the cases present in the tail of the pancreas.[2],[3] IPASs are usually incidentally discovered due to increased use of sophisticated imaging studies. IPAS does not require surgical intervention unless it is involved by a secondary process, such as benign disease or malignancy.[2],[3] Radiologically, the IPAS mimics PanNET.[1],[3] To clarify the nature of an incidentally discovered pancreatic mass, EUS-FNA is the method of choice due to its high sensitivity.[2],[3]

Cytologic features of intrapancreatic accessory spleen

Our case, similar to the majority of cases, showed:

  • Numerous small mature lymphocytes admixed with other chronic inflammatory cells [Figure 1]a
  • Lymphocytes tangles with crush artifact [Figure 1]a
  • Tingible body macrophages and germinal center fragments were absent
  • Scattered and loose aggregate of bland spindle cells and endothelial cells [Figure 1]b
  • Background of blood and lymphoglandular bodies
  • The most striking feature is the presence of variably sized platelet aggregates, especially on the Diff-Quik-stained air-dried smears which appear as sky-blue fluffy, acellular “cotton candy-like” material [Figure 1]c and [Figure 1]d.[3]
Figure 1: Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of pancreatic tail lesion. (a) Diff-Quik air-dried smear preparation (×10) shows many lymphocytes tangles with crushing artifact. (b) Loose aggregates of bland spindle cells (Rapid Papanicolaou, ×40). (c) Diff-Quik air-dried smear preparation (×40) highlights Blue fluffy, acellular, “cotton candy” materials. (d) Aggregates of the same fluffy materials (Rapid Papanicolaou, ×40)

Click here to view

Differential diagnosis

  • PanNET
  • Pancreatic pseudopapillary neoplasm
  • Peripancreatic lymph node
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Lymphoepithelial cyst.

PanNET usually appears predominantly as dispersed single cells exhibiting eccentric nuclei (plasmacytoid appearance) with finely stippled (salt and pepper) chromatin and moderate amount of cytoplasm.[4]

The aspirate smears of pancreatic pseudopapillary neoplasm are usually highly cellular with vascular stalks lined by stratified neoplastic cells. The neoplastic cells have round to oval shaped nuclei with intranuclear grooves and inconspicuous nucleoli. Blood, debris, and macrophages are seen in the background.[4]

Peripancreatic lymph node is a possibility; however, germinal center fragments and tangible body macrophages are readily recognized.

Chronic pancreatitis may form mass lesion due to fibrosis. Cytologically, the aspirate is of low cellularity with benign appearing pancreatic ducts and acini in a background of fat necrosis and inflammation.[4]

Lymphoepithelial cysts are rare benign cyst, usually multiloculated and may cause abdominal pain. Histologically, they are composed of epithelial component of benign keratinized squamous cells and subepithelial lymphoid tissue.[4]

 » Ancillary Studies Top

Immunoperoxidase stain for CD8 highlights the traversing vessels confirming the presence of sinusoidal endothelial cells of IPAS.[5],[6]

 » Other Helpful Imaging Top

Technetium-99m (99m TC)-labeled sulfur colloid or 99m TC-labeled heat-damaged red blood cell scintigraphy (highly sensitive and specific) has been used to detect accessory spleen.[1],[7]

 » Summary Top

In summary, upper EUS is a helpful tool in evaluation of IPAS. IPAS should be considered in the differential diagnosis of any small lesion in the tail of the pancreas along with any neoplastic process during interpretation of EUS--FNA of lesions in this setting with the application of appropriate ancillary studies as indicated.

 » Competing Interests Statement by All Authors Top

All authors declare that they have no competing interests.

 » Authorship Statement by All Authors Top

All authors of this article are qualified for authorship and each has participated sufficiently in the work and takes public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content of this article.

 » Ethics Statement by All Authors Top

This is a quiz without identifiers, our institution does not require approval from Institutional Review Board (IRB).

 » List of Abbreviations (In Alphabetic Order) Top

EUS-FNA - Endoscopic UltraSound guided Fine Needle Aspiration

IPAS - IntraPancreatic Accessory Spleen

PanNET - Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor.

 » References Top

Kawamoto S, Johnson PT, Hall H, Cameron JL, Hruban RH, Fishman EK. Intrapancreatic accessory spleen: CT appearance and differential diagnosis. Abdom Imaging 2012;37:812-27.  Back to cited text no. 1
Tatsas AD, Owens CL, Siddiqui MT, Hruban RH, Ali SZ. Fine-needle aspiration of intrapancreatic accessory spleen: Cytomorphologic features and differential diagnosis. Cancer Cytopathol 2012;120:261-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Saunders TA, Miller TR, Khanafshar E. Intrapancreatic accessory spleen: Utilization of fine needle aspiration for diagnosis of a potential mimic of a pancreatic neoplasm. J Gastrointest Oncol 2016;7 Suppl 1:S62-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
Bishop Pitman M. Pancreas and biliary tree. In: Cibas ES, Ducatman BS, editors. Cytology: Diagnostic Principles and Clinical Correlates. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2014. p. 399-421.  Back to cited text no. 4
Conway AB, Cook SM, Samad A, Attam R, Pambuccian SE. Large platelet aggregates in endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of the pancreas and peripancreatic region: A clue for the diagnosis of intrapancreatic or accessory spleen. Diagn Cytopathol 2013;41:661-72.  Back to cited text no. 5
Schreiner AM, Mansoor A, Faigel DO, Morgan TK. Intrapancreatic accessory spleen: Mimic of pancreatic endocrine tumor diagnosed by endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy. Diagn Cytopathol 2008;36:262-5.  Back to cited text no. 6
George M, Evans T, Lambrianides AL. Accessory spleen in pancreatic tail. J Surg Rep 2012;11:2.  Back to cited text no. 7


  [Figure 1]


Previous article Next article


  Site Map | Copyright and Disclaimer
© 2007 - CytoJournal | A journal by Cytopathology Foundation Inc with Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
New version online since 1st July '08
Open Access