Background and aims: EUS-guided FNA or biopsy sampling is widely practiced. Optimal sonographic visualization of the needle is critical for image-guided interventions. Of the several commercially available needles, bench-top testing and direct comparison of these needles have not been done to reveal their inherent echogenicity. The aims are to provide bench-top data that can be used to guide clinical applications and to promote future device research and development.
Methods: Descriptive bench-top testing and comparison of 8 commonly used EUS-FNA needles (all size 22 gauge): SonoTip Pro Control (Medi-Globe); Expect Slimline (Boston Scientific); EchoTip, EchoTip Ultra, EchoTip ProCore High Definition (Cook Medical); ClearView (Conmed); EZ Shot 2 (Olympus); and BNX (Beacon Endoscopic), and 2 new prototype needles, SonoCoat (Medi-Globe), coated by echogenic polymers made by Encapson. Blinded evaluation of standardized and unedited videos by 43 EUS endoscopists and 17 radiologists specialized in GI US examination who were unfamiliar with EUS needle devices.
Results: There was no significant difference in the ratings and rankings of these needles between endosonographers and radiologists. Overall, 1 prototype needle was rated as the best, ranking 10% to 40% higher than all other needles (P < .01). Among the commercially available needles, the EchoTip Ultra needle and the ClearView needle were top choices. The EZ Shot 2 needle was ranked statistically lower than other needles (30%-75% worse, P < .001).
Conclusions: All FNA needles have their inherent and different echogenicities, and these differences are similarly recognized by EUS endoscopists and radiologists. Needles with polymeric coating from the entire shaft to the needle tip may offer better echogenicity.
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