Role of EUS in the management of pancreatic and ampullary carcinoma: a prospective study assessing resectability and prognosis

L Buscail, P Pagès, P Berthélemy, G Fourtanier, J Frexinos, J Escourrou
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 1999, 50 (1): 34-40

BACKGROUND: Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) is highly accurate for the staging of tumors, but its role in the management of periampullary carcinoma is still being defined.

METHODS: Seventy-nine patients with pancreatic (n = 73) or ampullary (n = 6) carcinoma underwent prospective evaluation by means of assessment of resectability and survival according to the following three-step staging algorithm: (1) ultrasonography and computed tomography; (2) if tumor appears resectable, EUS; (3) if criteria of resectability are found at EUS, laparotomy for curative resection.

RESULTS: The first step of the algorithm helped predict unresectability of tumors and need for palliative treatment for 36 patients. Among the other 43 patients EUS revealed signs of unresectability in 20 additional patients who then underwent palliative surgical or medical treatment (median survival time 7 to 8 months). Twenty-three carcinomas were considered resectable according to EUS findings: Palliative surgery was performed in 9 cases (survival time 6 months), and 14 tumors could be resected in a curative way with a median survival period of 15 (pancreatic) to 16 months (ampullary). In evaluation of resectability, EUS had a 50% sensitivity (positive examination), 100% specificity, 100% positive predictive value, 61% negative predictive value, and 72% accuracy.

CONCLUSIONS: EUS is accurate for evaluating resectability of ampullary and pancreatic cancer. EUS staging can prevent unnecessary surgery, and the findings correlate well with prognosis. The management of ampullary and pancreatic cancer could be improved with EUS.

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