Early morbidity of endoscopic ultrasound: 13 years' experience at a referral center

Endoscopy. 2006 Apr;38(4):349-54. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-921173.


Background and study aim: Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) now has an important place in the diagnosis of gastroenteropancreatic diseases. However, prospective data on the morbidity and mortality related to its use are sparse and often retrospective. We attempted to assess the acute and immediate complications of both diagnostic and interventional EUS.

Patients and methods: At our university-affiliated tertiary care referral center, immediate (occurring during the procedure) and acute (occurring within 24 hours) complications of EUS were prospectively investigated. Over a first period, spanning 10 years, complications of diagnostic EUS involving 3207 consecutive patients were assessed. During the second period of 3 years, complications observed after EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy were evaluated from 224 procedures. EUS was mostly done with the patient under sedation with intravenous propofol and spontaneous ventilation, and complications were evaluated by both the operator and the anesthesiologist.

Results: There were no deaths, and no surgery was required over the two periods of assessment. Three mild complications occurred among patients who underwent standard diagnostic EUS: two immediate complications were related to anesthesia and one to the procedure. There were five complications associated with interventional EUS; all were related to the procedure (acute pancreatitis, duodenal perforation, upper digestive bleeding, cyst, and mediastinal infection), with a mean delay of occurrence of 30 hours, and mean duration of hospitalization of 7 days.

Conclusion: In our experience, which is the longest reported in Europe, the morbidity rates of diagnostic EUS and EUS-guided FNA biopsy were 0.093% and 2.2%, respectively, with no mortality.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle
  • Duodenum / injuries*
  • Endosonography / adverse effects*
  • Endosonography / mortality*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Rupture
  • Survival Rate