Frequency and significance of acute intracystic hemorrhage during EUS-FNA of cystic lesions of the pancreas

Gastrointest Endosc. 2004 Oct;60(4):631-5. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(04)01891-7.


Background: Complications from EUS-guided FNA of cystic lesions of the pancreas are infrequent. Although several studies have evaluated infectious complications of EUS-guided FNA in this setting, the frequency and the clinical significance of intracystic hemorrhage have not been determined. This study assessed the frequency of acute intracystic hemorrhage during EUS-guided FNA of pancreatic cystic lesions. The characteristic EUS appearance is described.

Methods: EUS-guided FNA of pancreatic cyst lesions was performed in 50 patients (July 2000 to June 2003). Patients were followed prospectively for the development of complications.

Observations: Acute intracystic hemorrhage occurred during EUS-guided FNA at the site of aspiration in 3 patients (6%: 95% confidence interval [1.3%, 16.6%]). Endosonographically, the bleeding manifested as a small hyperechoic area at the puncture site that progressed gradually over a few minutes to involve the majority of the cyst cavity. EUS-guided FNA was terminated when bleeding was observed. One patient was asymptomatic, but two patients experienced abdominal pain transiently. All patients were treated with a short course of orally administered antibiotics and were observed as outpatients. Clinical history and laboratory parameters did not predict which patients were at risk for intracystic hemorrhage.

Conclusions: Acute intracystic hemorrhage is a rare complication of EUS-guided FNA; it has a characteristic EUS appearance. Recognition of this event is important, because it permits termination of the procedure and thereby minimizes the potential for more serious bleeding.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle / adverse effects*
  • Endosonography*
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Cyst / complications
  • Pancreatic Cyst / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Cyst / pathology
  • Pancreatic Cyst / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies