Objectives: Diagnosis of pancreatic tumors can be problematic. This study aimed to determine the performance of endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy (EUS FNA) in pancreatic malignancy when prior biopsies performed by CT guidance or ERCP were negative.
Methods: A total of 185 patients with known or suspected pancreatic masses were prospectively evaluated with EUS FNA. Before EUS FNA, all patients were evaluated with abdominal CT (61 with CT-guided biopsy) and 91 with ERCP (41 had brushings or biopsy).
Results: EUS had greater sensitivity than CT in detecting a mass (99% vs 57%, p < 0.0001). In 58 patients with negative CT-guided biopsies, EUS FNA had 90% sensitivity for malignancy, 50% specificity for benign disease and 84% accuracy. Similarly, in 36 patients with negative ERCP tissue sampling, results for EUS FNA were 94%, 67% and 92%, respectively. Complications were mild and infrequent (0.5%).
Conclusion: EUS FNA of pancreatic masses safely and accurately diagnoses pancreatic malignancy when prior biopsy techniques have been unsuccessful.