Endoscopic ultrasonography-guided ethanol lavage with paclitaxel injection treats patients with pancreatic cysts

Gastroenterology. 2011 Jan;140(1):172-9. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2010.10.001. Epub 2010 Oct 13.


Background & aims: Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS)-guided interventions have been used to treat patients with cystic lesions of the pancreas (CLPs). We used EUS to guide injection and lavage of ethanol, followed by injection of paclitaxel, into cysts, and investigated treatment response and predictors.

Methods: Fifty-two patients were enrolled in the study using the following inclusion criteria: unilocular or oligolocular cysts, indeterminate cystic lesions that required EUS fine-needle aspiration, and cystic lesions that grew during the observation period. Forty-seven patients were followed up for more than 12 months and their outcomes were analyzed.

Results: The mean diameter of the CLPs was 31.8 mm (range, 17-68 mm) and the estimated volume was 14.09 mL (range, 1.16-68.74 mL). Twenty CLPs were oligolocular. The mean level of carcinoembryonic antigen was 463 ng/mL (range, 1-8190 ng/mL). The median follow-up period was 21.7 months. A complete response was observed in 29 patients, a partial response in 6 patients, and persistent cysts in 12 patients. Four of 12 patients with persistent cysts underwent surgery. The histopathologic degree of epithelial ablation varied from 0% to 100%. Based on univariate analysis, EUS diameter and original volume predicted cyst resolution; in multivariate analysis, only original volume predicted resolution. Mild pancreatitis and splenic vein obliteration each occurred in 1 patient.

Conclusions: EUS-guided injection and lavage of ethanol, followed by injection of paclitaxel, appears to be a safe method for treating pancreatic cysts; 62% of patients had complete resolution. Small cyst volume predicted complete resolution.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / blood
  • Endosonography / adverse effects
  • Endosonography / methods*
  • Ethanol / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use*
  • Pancreas / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreatic Cyst / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Cyst / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Cyst / pathology
  • Pancreatic Cyst / surgery
  • Pancreatitis / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Splenic Vein
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Ethanol
  • Paclitaxel