EUS diagnosis of cystic lesions of the pancreas

Int J Gastrointest Cancer. 2001;30(1-2):27-31. doi: 10.1385/IJGC:30:1-2:027.


Cystic tumors of the pancreas are composed of benign, premalignant, malignant, and inflammatory lesions that are traditionally difficult to diagnose. Most of the tumors are initially detected on CT/US scanning, but often the morphological characteristics are insufficient for making a definitive diagnosis. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) may be an ideal tool for imaging of these lesions because it can provide highly detailed imaging without interference by bowel or air. Furthermore, EUS can direct fine needle aspiration of the lesions, providing cyst fluid for cytologic examination. The findings of cyst fluid cytology can be complemented by the use of cyst fluid tumor makers such as CEA. Using the morphologic appearance by endosonography, the results of cytology, and tumor marker analysis, EUS can often differentiate between benign, malignant, and inflammatory cystic lesions of the pancreas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endosonography / methods*
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Cyst / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Biomarkers, Tumor