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Pancreas. 2009 Aug;38(6):625-30. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e3181ac35d2.

Diagnostic value of EUS-FNA in patients suspected of having pancreatic cancer with a focal lesion on CT scan/MRI but without obstructive jaundice.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63105, USA.



Patients frequently present with suspected pancreatic neoplasm based on a focal pancreatic lesion on computed tomographic (CT) scan/magnetic resonance image (MRI) but without obstructive jaundice. We evaluated the performance characteristics of endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) in this patient subset.


This is a retrospective analysis of a prospective database and included patients who underwent EUS-FNA at a university hospital for a focal pancreatic lesion noted on CT/MRI. Patients were excluded if (1) they had obstructive jaundice or (2) the lesion appear (seem)ed cystic on CT/MRI. The main outcome measurements were (1) prevalence of pancreatic cancer and (2) performance characteristics of EUS-FNA for identifying malignancy.


In the 213 study patients, a focal pancreatic lesion was identified in 173 patients by EUS. The final diagnosis included adenocarcinoma (n=89), neuroendocrine tumor (n=14), mucinous cystadenocarcinoma (n=1), solid pseudopapillary tumor (n=2), metastases (n=4), benign cyst (n=19), pseudocyst (n=9), abscess (n=4), chronic pancreatitis (n=32), and normal pancreas (n=39). Endoscopic ultrasound-guided FNA had an accuracy of 97.6% for diagnosing malignant neoplasm, with 96.6% sensitivity, 99.0% specificity, 96.2% negative predictive value, and 99.1% positive predictive value.


Endoscopic ultrasound-guided FNA is highly accurate for diagnosing malignancy in patients with a focal pancreatic lesion on CT scan/MRI but without obstructive jaundice. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided FNA can potentially be used as a definitive diagnostic test in the management of these patients.

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