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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan;46(1):42-5. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e318226af8e.

Are endoscopic ultrasonography imaging characteristics reliable for the diagnosis of small upper gastrointestinal subepithelial lesions?

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA.



To compare the accuracy of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) imaging with histopathology in the diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal subepithelial lesions.


Thirty-seven patients (21 female; mean age: 55 y) underwent endoscopic submucosal resection (ESMR) of upper gastro intestinal subepithelial lesions at a tertiary care facility. All patients underwent EUS before ESMR of the lesion. Information regarding location, size, echogenecity, layer of origin, presumptive diagnosis based on EUS imaging, and histopathology diagnosis after ESMR of the subepithelial lesion was recorded.


Twenty-seven subepithelial lesions were resected from the stomach, 5 from the esophagus, and 5 from the duodenum. The mean size of the lesions was 9 mm (range, 6-18 mm). Thirty-six lesions originated from the submucosa, and 1 from the muscularis propria. Using histopathology as the gold standard, the overall diagnostic accuracy of EUS imaging was 49% (18 out of 37). The accuracy of EUS imaging for the diagnosis of esophageal, gastric, and duodenal subepithelial lesions was 20%, 56%, and 40%, respectively. One patient developed a microperforation, and 1 developed bleeding during the ESMR procedure. No complications were reported with the EUS procedure.


The diagnostic accuracy of EUS imaging is inferior to histopathology in the diagnosis of small upper gastrointestinal subepithelial lesions. Endoluminal resection is a relatively safe and noninvasive modality that not only provides tissue sample for accurate diagnostic interpretation, but also aids in the complete removal of small subepithelial lesions of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

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