Endoscopic ultrasound instrumentation, applications in humans, and potential veterinary applications

Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2003 Nov-Dec;44(6):665-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8261.2003.tb00530.x.


Endoluminal scanning under endoscopic guidance, or endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS), has become the most significant advance for imaging the gastrointestinal (GI) tract wall and contiguous organs in the past 20 years. It was originally designed to overcome the limitations in humans to imaging the abdominal organs transabdominally, such as large penetration depths and GI air. This imaging modality provides detailed images of pathological processes both within and outside of the GI wall since a high-frequency transducer can be brought into close proximity with the target regions. It has found most success in humans for the staging of lung, gastric, and esophageal cancer, the detection of both lymphatic and hepatic metastases, and diagnosis of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, as well as achieving an important role in interventional and therapeutic procedures. The EUS examination can be performed to examine both the thorax and abdomen in animals when both conventional transthoracic or transabdominal ultrasound are inadequate due to intervening air, bone, large penetration depths, or obesity. The echoendoscope is similar to a conventional endoscope but has an ultrasound transducer at its tip. Both radial and linear multifrequency scanners are available. Linear scanners allow fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of the bowel wall or extraluminal structures. Transducer coupling is either by direct mucosal contact or by inflation of a water-filled balloon surrounding the transducer. Current thoracic applications for EUS in veterinary medicine include examination of the mediastinum, bronchial lymph nodes, esophagus, and pulmonary lesions as well as FNA of pulmonary masses. Abdominal applications include examination of both pancreatic limbs and the liver, including portosystemic shunts, detection of lymphadenomegaly, and examination of the gastric wall, duodenum, and jejunum. Other potential applications in dogs and cats include tumor staging and intrapelvic ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endoscopes, Gastrointestinal / veterinary*
  • Endosonography / veterinary*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / veterinary*
  • Humans
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / veterinary*