Impact of endoscopic ultrasound with fine-needle aspiration on the surgical management of pancreatic cancer

M Cahn, K Chang, P Nguyen, J Butler
American Journal of Surgery 1996, 172 (5): 470-2

BACKGROUND: Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) with EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) enables one to visualize the pancreas and surrounding structures and can provide access for FNA of those structures that appear suspicious for tumor.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: From 1993 to 1995, 50 patients suspected of having pancreatic cancer underwent EUS/EUS-FNA and abdominal computed tomography (CT). Malignancy was found in 30 (60%) cases, which included 24 (48%) pancreatic adenocarcinomas.

RESULTS: Endoscopic ultrasound/EUS-FNA identified 26 of the 30 malignancies (85%) and 21 of the 24 pancreatic adenocarcinomas (88%), with no false positives. Thirteen of the 24 pancreatic cancer patients had lymph nodes that were sampled with EUS/EUS-FNA. Seven of these 13 patients (62%) were found to have metastatic spread to lymph nodes. Operations were performed on 11 of the pancreatic cancer patients. Of these 11, the 5 that were predicted to be resectable by EUS/EUS-FNA underwent successful resection. Of the 6 predicted to be unresectable, 5 had palliative biliary bypasses, and 1 had a grossly positive margin of resection.

CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopic ultrasound/EUS-FNA can identify patients for curative surgical resection. It can also preoperatively identify patients with regional nodal disease for inclusion in appropriately designed clinical trials.

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