Background: Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) accurately stages gastrointestinal malignancies but is less able to differentiate between neoplastic and inflammatory processes. EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS FNA) has been reported useful for obtaining a diagnosis in suspected gastrointestinal lesions. We report our entire experience with EUS FNA using both radial and linear array endosonography, including our diagnostic accuracy and complication rate.
Methods: Two hundred eight consecutive patients (119 men, 89 women) referred for EUS evaluation of suspected gastrointestinal or mediastinal masses underwent EUS-guided FNA. We performed EUS FNA using radial scanning or linear array endosonography and a 23 gauge, 4 cm needle or a 22 gauge, 12 cm needle. Data collected included lesion types, number of passes, complications, and diagnostic accuracy.
Results: Two hundred eight lesions were targeted, with a total of 705 FNA passes (mean 3.39 passes/patient). Overall diagnostic accuracy for our study population was 87% with a 89% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The diagnostic accuracy for each subgroup was 95% for mediastinal lymph node, 85% for intra-abdominal lymph node, 85% for pancreatic, 84% for submucosal, and 100% for perirectal masses. EUS FNA provided an adequate specimen in 90% of patients. The FNA results were similar for both types of endosonography. We observed immediate complications in 2% (4 of 208) of patients. All complications occurred with EUS FNA of pancreatic lesions and consisted of bleeding and pancreatitis in 2 patients each. For EUS FNA of pancreatic masses there was a 1.2% (2 of 121) risk of pancreatitis, 1% (1/121) risk of severe bleeding, and risk of death in less than 1%.
Conclusions: EUS-guided FNA appears to be technically feasible, safe, and accurate for obtaining diagnostic tissue of suspicious gastrointestinal and mediastinal lesions and provides important preoperative information.