Aim: To clarify the diagnostic efficacy and limitations of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) and the characteristics of early gastric cancers (EGCs) that are indications for EUS-based assessment of cancer invasion depth.
Methods: We retrospectively investigated the cases of 153 EGC patients who underwent conventional endoscopy (CE) and EUS (20 MHz) before treatment.
Results: We found that 13.7% were "inconclusive" cases with low-quality EUS images, including all nine of the cases with protruded (0-I)-type EGCs. There was no significant difference in the diagnostic accuracy between CE and EUS. Two significant independent risk factors for misdiagnosis by EUS were identified-ulcer scarring [UL(+); odds ratio (OR) = 4.49, P = 0.003] and non-indication criteria for endoscopic resection (ER) (OR = 3.02, P = 0.03). In the subgroup analysis, 23.1% of the differentiated-type cancers exhibiting SM massive invasion (SM2) invasion (submucosal invasion ≥ 500 μm) by CE were correctly diagnosed by EUS, and 23.1% of the undifferentiated-type EGCs meeting the expanded-indication criteria for ER were correctly diagnosed by EUS.
Conclusion: There is no need to perform EUS for UL(+) EGCs or 0-I-type EGCs, but EUS may enhance the pretreatment staging of differentiated-type EGCs with SM2 invasion without UL or undifferentiated-type EGCs revealed by CE as meeting the expanded-indication criteria for ER.
Keywords: Conventional endoscopy; Endoscopic submucosal dissection; Endoscopic ultrasonography; Gastric cancer; Invasion depth diagnosis.