Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Can J Gastroenterol. 2009 Apr;23(4):279-86.

Predictors of malignancy and recommended follow-up in patients with negative endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of suspected pancreatic lesions.

Author information

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53792, USA.



Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) with fine-needle aspiration (FNA) can characterize and diagnose pancreatic lesions as malignant, but cannot definitively rule out the presence of malignancy. Outcome data regarding the length of follow-up in patients with negative or nondiagnostic EUS-FNA of pancreatic lesions are not well-established.


To determine the long-term outcome and provide follow-up guidance for patients with negative EUS-FNA diagnosis of suspected pancreatic lesions based on imaging predictors.


A retrospective review of patients undergoing EUS-FNA for suspected pancreatic lesions, but with negative or nondiagnostic FNA results was conducted at a tertiary care referral medical centre. Patient demographics, EUS imaging characteristics and follow-up data were examined.


Seventeen of 55 patients (30.9%) with negative/nondiagnostic FNA were subsequently diagnosed with pancreatic malignancy. The risk of cancer was significantly higher for patients who had associated lymph nodes on EUS (P<0.001) and vascular involvement on EUS (P=0.001). The mean time to diagnosis in the group with falsenegative EUS-FNA diagnosis was 66 days. The true-negative EUSFNA patients were followed for a mean of 403 days after negative EUS-FNA results without the development of malignancy.


For patients undergoing EUS-FNA for a suspected pancreatic lesion, a negative or nondiagnostic FNA does not provide conclusive evidence for the absence of cancer. Patients for whom vascular invasion and lymphadenopathy are detected on EUS are more likely to have a true malignant lesion and should be followed closely. When a patient has been monitored for six months or more with no cancer being diagnosed, there appears to be much less chance that a pancreatic malignancy is present.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Pulsus Group Inc Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk