Endoscopic ultrasound for diagnosis and staging of pancreatic tumors

Am Surg. 1999 Jul;65(7):659-64; discussion 664-5. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(98)85653-9.


Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is proving to be a useful tool for evaluation of clinically suspected pancreatic masses unsatisfactorily evaluated by other means of imaging. We reviewed the records of 19 patients who had CT and EUS performed for clinically suspected pancreatic masses. Each patient had subsequent surgical exploration. Nineteen patients (11 females and 8 males) presenting with symptoms (11 with obstructive jaundice, 6 with abdominal pain and weight loss) or incidental CT findings suspicious for pancreatic carcinoma underwent EUS for further pancreatic evaluation. All of these patients had exploratory laparotomies, with 13 pancreaticoduodenectomies, 3 distal pancreatectomies and splenectomies, 1 bypass procedure, 1 open pancreatic and hepatic biopsy showing metastatic disease, and 1 open exploration with negative fine-needle aspiration biopsy. EUS correctly identified pancreatic neoplasms in 17 of 19 cases, with two false positives. The tumors included 15 adenocarcinomas, 1 microcystic adenoma, and 1 lymphoma. Node status was correctly predicted in 9 of 12 specimens. Nine of 12 tumors had accurate tumor staging by EUS. Absence of vascular invasion was accurately predicted in 13 of 14 cases. Two patients had metastatic disease discovered at laparotomy. All 19 patients had preoperative abdominal CT scans, with six of these negative for pancreatic masses. EUS is more sensitive than CT in detecting pancreatic masses and is more accurate than CT in locally staging pancreatic tumors. This higher sensitivity is important because those patients with earlier stage tumors are the most likely to benefit from resection.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Endosonography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed