EUS-guided FNA diagnostic yield of malignancy in solid pancreatic masses: a benchmark for quality performance measurement

Thomas J Savides, Michael Donohue, Gordon Hunt, Mohammed Al-Haddad, Harry Aslanian, Tamir Ben-Menachem, Victor K Chen, Walter Coyle, John Deutsch, John DeWitt, Manish Dhawan, Alexander Eckardt, Mohamad Eloubeidi, Alec Esker, Stuart R Gordon, Frank Gress, Steven Ikenberry, Ann Marie Joyce, Jason Klapman, Simon Lo, Fauze Maluf-Filho, Nicholas Nickl, Virmeet Singh, Jason Wills, Cynthia Behling
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 2007, 66 (2): 277-82

BACKGROUND: The diagnostic yield of EUS-guided FNA (EUS-FNA) of solid pancreatic masses is a potential benchmark for EUS-FNA quality, because the majority of EUS-FNA of solid pancreatic masses should be diagnostic for malignancy.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the cytologic diagnostic rate of malignancy in EUS-FNA of solid pancreatic masses and to determine if variability exists among endoscopists and centers.

DESIGN: Multicenter retrospective study.

PATIENTS: EUS centers provided cytology reports for all EUS-FNAs of solid, noncystic, >or=10-mm-diameter, solid pancreatic masses during a 1-year period.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENT: Cytology diagnostic of pancreatic malignancy.

RESULTS: A total of 1075 patients underwent EUS-FNA at 21 centers (81% academic) with 41 endoscopists. The median number of EUS-FNA of solid pancreatic masses performed during the year per center was 46 (range, 4-177) and per endoscopist was 19 (range, 1-97). The mean mass dimensions were 32 x 27 mm, with 73% located in the head. The mean number of passes was 3.5. Of the centers, 90% used immediate cytologic evaluation. The overall diagnostic rate of malignancy was 71%, 95% confidence interval 0.69%-0.74%, with 5% suspicious for malignancy, 6% atypical cells, and 18% negative for malignancy. The median diagnostic rate per center was 78% (range, 39%-93%; 1st quartile, 61%) and per endoscopist was 75% (range, 0%-100%; 1st quartile, 52%).

LIMITATIONS: Retrospective study, participation bias, and varying chronic pancreatitis prevalence.

CONCLUSIONS: (1) EUS-FNA cytology was diagnostic of malignancy in 71% of solid pancreatic masses and (2) endoscopists with a final cytologic diagnosis rate of malignancy for EUS-FNA of solid masses that was less than 52% were in the lowest quartile and should evaluate reasons for their low yield.

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