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Gastrointest Endosc. 2009 Jul;70(1):70-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2008.10.030. Epub 2009 Feb 27.

EUS/EUS-FNA for suspected pancreatic cancer: influence of chronic pancreatitis and clinical presentation with or without obstructive jaundice on performance characteristics.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.



The clinical utility of EUS-FNA is debated in patients with obstructive jaundice (ObJ) because of a very high pretest probability of pancreatobiliary malignancy (PBM) and biliary stent-induced inflammation that can potentially confound EUS-FNA diagnosis. EUS-FNA also has lower accuracy in patients with underlying chronic pancreatitis (CP).


Our purpose was to determine the clinical value of EUS-FNA for PBM diagnosis based on clinical presentation and presence of CP.


Retrospective analysis of prospective database.


University hospital.


Patients who underwent EUS-FNA from 2002 to 2006 for suspected PBM based on (1) ObJ with biliary stricture or a mass lesion or (2) abnormal pancreatic imaging by CT/MRI: a focal pancreatic "mass" lesion; dilated pancreatic duct +/- common bile duct; or an enlarged head of pancreas.


EUS was performed with a radial echoendoscope followed by a linear echoendoscope if a focal pancreatic lesion was identified. Fine-needle aspirates were assessed immediately by an attending cytopathologist.


(1) Prevalence of cancer and (2) performance characteristics of EUS-FNA.


PBM was diagnosed in 73.9% of patients with ObJ and biliary stricture or pancreatic mass, in 49.6% of patients with pancreatic mass, and in 7.0% of patients with an enlarged head of pancreas or dilated pancreatic duct +/- common bile duct. The prevalence of PBM was lower in all 3 presentations with associated CP. Both CP and presentation with ObJ lowered performance characteristics of EUS-FNA, but CP did so only in the subset of patients with ObJ. All except 1 false-negative diagnoses were due to cytologic misinterpretation.


Retrospective design.


Among patients with suspected PBM, the accuracy of EUS-FNA is significantly lower only in a subset of patients with ObJ with underlying CP, largely as a result of difficulty in cytologic interpretation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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