Combined endoscopic ultrasonography and laparoscopic ultrasonography in the pretherapeutic assessment of resectability in patients with upper gastrointestinal malignancies

M B Mortensen, J D Scheel-Hincke, M R Madsen, N Qvist, C Hovendal
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 1996, 31 (11): 1115-9

BACKGROUND: Even though endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) has improved the pretherapeutic staging and assessment of resectability in patients with upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract malignancies, a considerable number of patients still have to undergo unnecessary explorative laparotomy to obtain the final assessment of resectability. The aim of the present study was to evaluate laparoscopic ultrasonography (LUS) and the combination of EUS and LUS in the pretherapeutic study of these patients with special reference to resectability.

METHODS: Each of 44 patients with esophageal, gastric, or pancreatic cancer was assigned to a treatment-related resectability group based on five different imaging modalities: computer tomography (CT) + ultrasonography (US), EUS, laparoscopy, LUS, and EUS + LUS. The findings with these imaging modalities were compared with intraoperative findings.

RESULTS: Overall group assignment accuracy showed significantly better results for EUS, LUS, and EUS + LUS than for CT + US and laparoscopy. EUS + LUS identified all non-resectable patients, whereas the sensitivity of CT + US, laparoscopy, and EUS were 14%, 36%, and 79%, respectively. Median time consumption for each EUS, laparoscopy, or LUS procedure was less than 25 min, and no complications were seen during or after the EUS, laparoscopy, or LUS procedures.

CONCLUSION: Preliminary experience with the combination of EUS and LUS for pretherapeutic assessment of upper GI tract malignancies showed that this combination was superior to CT + US, laparoscopy, and EUS. EUS + LUS correctly identified all non-resectable patients, but two overstaged patients also indicated the need for larger prospective studies to identify the indications and the limitations of this new approach.

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