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Gastrointest Endosc. 2004 Oct;60(4):631-5.

Frequency and significance of acute intracystic hemorrhage during EUS-FNA of cystic lesions of the pancreas.

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Division of Gastroenterology-Hepatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.



Complications from EUS-guided FNA of cystic lesions of the pancreas are infrequent. Although several studies have evaluated infectious complications of EUS-guided FNA in this setting, the frequency and the clinical significance of intracystic hemorrhage have not been determined. This study assessed the frequency of acute intracystic hemorrhage during EUS-guided FNA of pancreatic cystic lesions. The characteristic EUS appearance is described.


EUS-guided FNA of pancreatic cyst lesions was performed in 50 patients (July 2000 to June 2003). Patients were followed prospectively for the development of complications.


Acute intracystic hemorrhage occurred during EUS-guided FNA at the site of aspiration in 3 patients (6%: 95% confidence interval [1.3%, 16.6%]). Endosonographically, the bleeding manifested as a small hyperechoic area at the puncture site that progressed gradually over a few minutes to involve the majority of the cyst cavity. EUS-guided FNA was terminated when bleeding was observed. One patient was asymptomatic, but two patients experienced abdominal pain transiently. All patients were treated with a short course of orally administered antibiotics and were observed as outpatients. Clinical history and laboratory parameters did not predict which patients were at risk for intracystic hemorrhage.


Acute intracystic hemorrhage is a rare complication of EUS-guided FNA; it has a characteristic EUS appearance. Recognition of this event is important, because it permits termination of the procedure and thereby minimizes the potential for more serious bleeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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