Aim: To evaluate the accuracy of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) elastography for differentiating between pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and pancreatic inflammatory masses (PIM).
Methods: Electronic databases (updated to December 2012) and manual bibliographical searches were carried out. A meta-analysis of all diagnostic clinical trials evaluating the accuracy of EUS elastography in differentiating PDAC from PIM was conducted. Heterogeneity was assessed among the studies. The meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the accuracy of EUS elastography in differentiating PDAC from PIM in homogeneous studies.
Results: Ten studies involving 781 patients were included in the analysis. Significant heterogeneity in sensitivity was observed among the studies (Cochran Q test = 24.16, df = 9, P = 0.0041, I (2) = 62.8%), while heterogeneity in specificity was not observed (Cochran Q test = 5.93, df = 9, P = 0.7473, I (2) = 0.0%). The area under the curve under the Sports Rights Owners Coalition was 0.8227. Evaluation of heterogeneity suggested that the different diagnostic standards used in the included studies were the source of heterogeneity. In studies using the color pattern as the diagnostic standard, the pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio (LR), negative LR and diagnostic OR were 0.99 (0.97-1.00), 0.76 (0.67-0.83), 3.36 (2.39-4.72), 0.03 (0.01-0.07) and 129.96 (47.02-359.16), respectively. In studies using the hue histogram as the diagnostic standard, the pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive LR, negative LR and diagnostic OR were 0.92 (0.89-0.95), 0.68 (0.57-0.78), 2.84 (2.05-3.93), 0.12 (0.08-0.19) and 24.69 (12.81-47.59), respectively.
Conclusion: EUS elastography is a valuable method for the differential diagnosis between PDAC and PIM. And a preferable diagnostic standard should be explored and improvements in specificity are required.
Keywords: Elastography; Endoscopic ultrasound; Meta-analysis; Pancreatic adenocarcinoma.