Endoscopic ultrasound in the diagnosis and staging of pancreatic cancer

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Pancreatic cancer is one of the digestive cancers with the poorest prognosis, so an early and correct diagnosis is of utmost importance. With the development of new therapeutic options an accurate staging is essential. Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) has a major role in all stages of the management of these patients.EUS has a high accuracy in the diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and the possibility to perform fine-needle aspiration/biopsy (FNA/FNB) increases the diagnostic yield of EUS. There is still no consensus on the several technical aspects of FNA, namely on the rapid on-site evaluation (ROSE), the diameter and type of needle, the number of passes and the use of stylet and suction. Contrast-enhanced EUS (CE-EUS) and EUS elastography (EUS-E) have been used in recent years as an adjunct to EUS-FNA. Given the higher sensitivity of these techniques a negative cytology by EUS-FNA should not exclude malignancy when CE-EUS and/or EUS-E are suggestive of pancreatic neoplasia. EUS remains one of the main methods in the staging of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, namely to further evaluate patients with non-metastatic disease that appears resectable on initial imaging.EUS is crucial for an accurate preoperative evaluation of pancreatic cancer which is essential to choose the correct management strategy. The possibility to obtain samples from suspicious lesions or lymph nodes, by means of EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration as well as the use of contrast-enhanced and elastography, makes EUS an ideal modality for the diagnosis and staging of pancreatic cancer.




Gonçalves, B., Soares, J. B., & Bastos, P. (2015, July 1). Endoscopic ultrasound in the diagnosis and staging of pancreatic cancer. GE Portuguese Journal of Gastroenterology. Sociedade Portuguesa de Gastrenterologia. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpge.2015.04.007

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