Frozen section / exploration of possible pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Author: Deepali Jain, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 3 January 2018, last major update August 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Frozen section[TIAB] pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Cite this page: Jain, D. Frozen section / exploration of possible pancreatic adenocarcinoma. website. Accessed November 21st, 2018.
Intraoperative strategies
  • Surgeon should check for metastatic disease in peripancreatic nodes, liver, peritoneum
  • Dilation of common bile duct and jaundice without biliary tract stones is highly suggestive of tumor
  • Intraoperative FNA minimizes hemorrhage, pancreatitis, tumor seeding
  • For patients with colloid carcinoma (larger tumors, typically in head, mucin lakes microscopically), avoid incisions into the tumor to prevent thromboemboli or tumor dissemination
Frozen section
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Frozen section (left to right): normal, IPMN with low grade dysplasia, IMPN with borderline / moderate dysplasia

Frozen section: figures 2, 4 - 6 are pancreatic adenocarcinoma, figures 1 and 3 are chronic pancreatitis

Differential diagnosis
  • Chronic pancreatitis: characteristic lobular arrangement at low power; limited nuclear size variation, only slight nuclear irregularity, nucleoli are inconspicuous