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World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Jun 14;13(22):3112-6.

Diagnosis of pancreatic tumors by endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration.

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Echoendoscopy and Pathology Units from 9 de Julho Hospital and Ribeirao Preto Medical School-USP, Cristiano Fischer 668/1001, C.E.P. 91.410-000 Porto Alegre-RS, Brazil.



To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) for pancreatic solid tumors larger or smaller than 3 cm, and cystic lesions.


From January/1997 to December/2006, 611 patients with pancreatic tumors were subjected to EUS-FNA. The final diagnosis was obtained either by surgery (356 cases) or after a mean clinical follow-up of 11.8 mo in the remaining patients.


There were 405 solid tumors, 189 cystic lesions and 17 mixed. Pancreatic specimens for cytological assessment were successfully obtained by EUS-FNA in 595 (97.4%) cases. There were 352 (57.6%) malignancies and 259 (42.4%) benign tumors. Among the malignancies, pancreatic adenocarcinomas accounted for 67% of the lesions. Overall, the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and accuracy of EUS-FNA were, respectively, 78.4%, 99.2%, 99.3%, 77.2% and 87.2%. Specifically for solid tumors, the same parameters for neoplasms larger and smaller than 3 cm were, respectively, 78.8% vs 82.4%, 100% vs 98.4%, 100% vs 99%, 54.8% vs 74.1% and 83.1% vs 87.8%. For cystic lesions, the values were, respectively, 72.2%, 99.3%, 97.5%, 91% and 92.2%.


EUS-FNA can be used to sample pancreatic tumors in most patients. Even though the negative predictive value is inadequate for large solid tumors, the results are rather good for small solid tumors, especially concerning the sensitivity, negative predictive value and diagnostic accuracy. Among all pancreatic lesions, EUS-FNA for cystic lesions can reveal the best negative predictive value and diagnostic accuracy, both higher than 90%.

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