EUS-guided fine needle aspiration of pancreatic cysts: a retrospective analysis of complications and their predictors

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Mar;3(3):231-6. doi: 10.1016/s1542-3565(04)00618-4.


Background and aims: Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS FNA) of pancreatic cysts is considered safe, however, data are conflicting regarding complication rates. The aim of this study was to determine the complication rate of EUS-guided pancreatic cyst aspiration and predictors of these complications.

Methods: Results of pancreatic cyst EUS FNA at 2 academic institutions from March 1996 to October 2003 were reviewed. A total of 603 patients with 651 pancreatic cysts were evaluated. Complications were identified from clinic, emergency department, and discharge notes, and laboratory and radiologic data. Data collected were as follows: cyst size, location, septations, diagnosis, number of passes, needle size, status as inpatient or outpatient, performance of same-day endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), and use of prophylactic antibiotics.

Results: Complications were identified in 13 patients (2.2%, 13 of 603): 6 patients had pancreatitis, 4 patients had abdominal pain, 1 patient had a retroperitoneal bleed, 1 patient had an infection, and 1 patient had bradycardia. Twelve patients required hospitalization, with an average length of stay of 3.8 +/- 1.1 days. Type of cyst, size, presence of septations or mass, and same-day ERCP were not predictors of complications.

Conclusions: EUS-guided pancreatic cyst aspiration carries a low complication rate similar to that reported for solid pancreatic lesions. No patient or cyst characteristics appear to be predictive of adverse events.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle*
  • Endosonography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Cyst / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Cyst / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies