Accuracy and morphologic aspects of pancreatic and biliary duct brushings

Acta Cytol. 1995 Jan-Feb;39(1):11-8.


One hundred eight brushing cytology specimens with adequate follow-up were obtained from strictures of the biliary and pancreatic ducts. The material was classified as benign, reactive, low grade dysplasia, high grade dysplasia or adenocarcinoma. A diagnosis of carcinoma was made in 18 patients, high grade dysplasia in 12, low grade dysplasia in 6 and benign, nonneoplastic in the remaining cases. The diagnostic sensitivity for carcinoma was 44%, with a specificity of 98%. Ten of 12 patients with high grade dysplasia demonstrated other evidence of carcinoma. No complications were encountered. Brushing cytodiagnosis of extrahepatic biliary and pancreatic duct strictures appears to be a safe procedure, with high specificity but only modest sensitivity.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bile Ducts, Extrahepatic / pathology*
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Biopsy / standards
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia / diagnosis
  • Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology