Advanced methods of molecular characterization have elucidated the genetic, epigenetic, and proteomic alterations associated with the broad spectrum of pancreatic disease, particularly neoplasia. Next-generation sequencing, in particular, has revealed the genomic diversity among pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, neuroendocrine and acinar tumors, solid pseudopapillary neoplasm, and other pancreatico-biliary neoplasms. Differentiating these entities from one another by morphologic analysis alone may be challenging, especially when examining the small quantities of diagnostic material inherent to cytologic specimens. In order to enhance the sensitivity and specificity of pancreatic cytomorphology, multiple diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive ancillary tests have been and continue to be developed. Although a great number of such tests have been developed for evaluation of specimens collected from cystic lesions and strictures, ancillary techniques also play a significant role in the evaluation of cytologic specimens obtained from solid lesions of the pancreas. Furthermore, while some tests have been developed to differentiate diagnostic entities from one another, others have been developed to simply identify dysplasia and malignancy. Ancillary studies are particularly important in the subset of cases for which cytomorphologic analysis provides a result that is equivocal or insufficient to guide clinical management. Selection of appropriate ancillary testing modalities requires familiarity with both their methodology and the molecular basis of the pancreatic diseases for which testing is being performed.

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