Introduction: The lack of accurate markers makes preoperative differentiation between pancreatic cancer and non-malignant head lesions clinically challenging. In this study, we investigated the incidence of benign disease in patients that underwent resection for presumed pancreatic cancer diagnosed by EUS and EUS-guided FNA.
Methods: Medical records of consecutive patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy at Duke University were reviewed. Demographics, clinicopathologic characteristics, preoperative imaging, EUS, EUS-guided FNA, and postoperative outcomes were analyzed.
Results: Seven percent of the total 494 patients studied were found to have benign disease on postoperative pathology. Fifty-nine percent of these patients with benign disease underwent preoperative EUS. EUS was positive for a head mass in 70%, demonstrated enlarged lymph nodes in 27%, and showed signs concerning for vascular invasion in 13%. FNA was suspicious or indeterminate for cancer in 63% of patients. Postoperative complications occurred in 47% and one patient died after surgery. The overall pancreatic leak rate was 15%.
Conclusions: Even with aggressive use of preoperative evaluation, there is still a small subset of patients where malignancy cannot be excluded without pancreaticoduodenectomy.