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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 832463, 4 pages
Case Report

The Challenging Diagnosis of Pancreatic Masses: Not All Tumors Are Cancers

1Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin and San Luigi Hospital, Orbassano 10043, Italy
2Division of Internal Medicine, San Luigi Hospital, Orbassano 10043, Italy
3Department of Diagnostic Imaging, San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital, University of Turin, Orbassano 10043, Italy

Received 24 November 2014; Revised 20 March 2015; Accepted 23 March 2015

Academic Editor: Gerald S. Supinski

Copyright © 2015 Alessandro Morotti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the elderly patients, where biopsy-induced complications could outweigh the benefit, the identification of pancreatic masses is generally referred to as a synonymous of pancreatic cancer and patients are dismissed with no further options than palliative and supportive care. Notwithstanding, not all pancreatic tumors are cancers and therefore alternative diagnoses need to be investigated, especially when patients are unfit for invasive diagnostic procedures. Here, we report a case of an aged patient that was admitted to an internal medicine division for a previously diagnosed pancreatic cancer. The reassessment of the diagnosis has allowed identifying the pancreatic mass as a manifestation of focal pancreatitis in the context of an IgG4-related disease. Accordingly, patient was treated with steroids with rapid clinical improvement. This clinical case suggests that autoimmune diseases should always be considered in the differential diagnosis of pancreatic masses of the elderly.