Clinical Communications: Pediatrics| Volume 58, ISSUE 4, e211-e214, April 2020

Early Diagnosis of a Pediatric Pancreatic Tumor by Abdominal Physical Examination: A Case Report



      Detecting a neoplasm in pediatric patients with acute abdominal pain is difficult, especially when there is no palpable mass. Ihara's maneuver, which allows the physician to apply manual pressure directly on the pancreatic body, is a useful palpation method of diagnosing acute pancreatitis in children. We report a case of solid pseudopapillary neoplasm of the pancreas (SPNP) detected by Ihara's maneuver.

      Case Report

      An otherwise healthy, 15-year-old male visited our emergency department with acute abdominal pain and nausea. His vital signs were appropriate for his age. A physical examination denied peritoneal signs, but Ihara's maneuver induced strong tenderness. His serum amylase and lipase were normal. A contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan revealed a well-defined, 2.2-cm, nonenhanced mass in the pancreatic tail. Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy was performed, and the diagnosis of SPNP was confirmed. The patient was well postoperatively without any metastasis. SPNP is a rare neoplasm with low malignant potential. Although it typically occurs in young females, it has also been reported in children. The early diagnosis of SPNP is usually challenging because most patients do not have specific symptoms or laboratory findings. In the present case, the SPNP was difficult to detect by palpation because of its size, but Ihara's maneuver induced strong tenderness of the pancreas and led to a diagnosis.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Ihara's maneuver has the potential to enable early diagnosis not only of pancreatitis but also of pancreatic tumors, such as SPNP.


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