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Am J Gastroenterol. 2002 Sep;97(9):2263-70.

Quantitative analysis of K-ras gene mutation in pancreatic tissue obtained by endoscopic ultrasonography-guided fine needle aspiration: clinical utility for diagnosis of pancreatic tumor.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.



Endoscopic ultrasonography-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) has become established in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The combination of pathological diagnosis and analysis for mutant K-ras gene was investigated to improve the accuracy of diagnosis.


EUS-FNA was performed in 34 patients with pancreatic masses (26 adenocarcinomas and eight chronic pancreatitis). Mutant ras gene was analyzed semiquantitatively in the specimens obtained by EUS-FNA as well as in pancreatic juice obtained by ERCP.


Mutant gene was detected at high amounts (more than 2% of total ras genes) in 20 of 26 (77%) specimens of EUS-FNA and in 12 of 19 (63%) of pancreatic juice in cases with pancreatic carcinoma. Cytological diagnosis of malignancy by EUS-FNA was found in 16 of 26 (62%) patients with pancreatic cancer. Accurate diagnosis of the carcinoma was 21 of 26 (81%) by combined cytology and molecular method of EUS-FNA, and increased to 23 of 26 (88%) by adding molecular analysis of pancreatic juice. In contrast, mutant gene was absent or low level despite suspicious cytology in patients with benign pancreatic lesion.


Quantitative analysis of mutant ras gene supplemented conventional cytology of EUS-FNA and ERCP. Detection of mutation at high amounts may represent pancreatic cancer, whereas its absence increased the possibility of benign lesion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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