• Vol. 34 No. 1, 124–129
  • 15 January 2005

Clinical Usefulness of Endoscopic Ultrasonography With or Without Fine Needle Aspiration in the Diagnosis and Staging of Pancreatic Carcinoma



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Introduction: The aims of this study was to show the accuracy and clinical usefulness of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) with EUS-guided fine needle aspiration (FNA) in the diagnosis and staging of pancreatic cancer not obvious in computed tomographic (CT) scan abdomen imaging. Materials and Methods: Five male patients were evaluated; 4 presented with obstructive jaundice and 1 had unexplained loss of weight. The mean age was 66 years (range, 40 to 77). All had CT scan abdomen imaging which did not show any obvious pancreatic tumour. EUS with FNA was done for all cases when indicated. Surgical findings, if any, were obtained and compared to EUS findings. Results: EUS easily detected the pancreatic tumour in all 5 cases. The tumour sizes detected ranged from 27 to 40 mm in diameter. These corresponded fairly accurately with that of surgical findings for all 3 who had surgery. EUS reported 3 cases with pathological lymph node involvement. All 5 cases were confirmed by FNA or surgery. EUS was also accurate in 4 cases, which reported the absence of portal vein or superior mesenteric vein invasion. Surgical documentation could not verify the fifth case. There were no complications at all from the EUS with/without FNA. Conclusion: This case series showed that EUS with/without FNA appears to be useful and safe in diagnosing and staging pancreatic head tumours not detectable by CT scanning.

Pancreatic cancer is notoriously known to be diagnosed in the later stages and this carries with it a poor prognosis. In particular, tumours involving the head of pancreas are particularly difficult to diagnose early and computed tomography (CT) scanning often fails to detect an early tumuor at that site. In many instances, “bulkiness of the head of pancreas” was reported by the radiologist when a tumour was not evident.

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