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J Interv Gastroenterol. 2011 Oct;1(4):193-201. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Endosonography in solid and cystic pancreatic tumors.

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Deptment of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.


Pancreatic tumors being either benign or malignant can be solid or cystic. Although diverse in presentation, their imaging features share commonalities and it is often difficult to distinguish these tumors. Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) is the most sensitive of the imaging procedures currently available for characterizing pancreatic tumors, and is especially good in identifying the smaller sized tumors. Additional applications inclusive of EUS-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) are useful in tissue sampling and preoperative staging of pancreatic tumors.Although diagnostic capabilities have greatly evolved with advances in EUS and tissue processing technology (cytology, tumor markers, DNA analysis), differentiation of benign and malignant neoplasms, neoplastic and non-neoplastic (chronic pancreatitis) conditions, continues to be challenging.Recent innovative applications include contrast-enhanced EUS with Doppler mode, contrast-enhanced harmonic EUS, 3-dimensinal EUS, and EUS elastography. Incorporation of these methods has improved the differential diagnosis of pancreatic tumors. Finally, a multi-disciplinary approach involving radiology, gastroenterology and surgical specialties is often necessary for accurate diagnosis and management of solid and cystic pancreatic tumors.

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