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Endoscopic ultrasound highly accurate in evaluating ambiguous radiographic findings of the pancreas
Date:8/27/2008

OAK BROOK, Ill. August 27, 2008 Researchers from St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri report that EUS and EUS-FNA is 99.1 percent accurate in diagnosing pancreatic neoplasms (abnormal growths or tumors) in patients who were referred for endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) because of CT and/or MRI reports of two common, though somewhat ambiguous findings - enlargement of head of pancreas (HOP) or dilation of the pancreatic duct (PD). The study appears in the August issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).

Occasionally, patients who are asymptomatic or who have nonspecific symptoms, such as weight loss and abdominal pain, have subtle abnormal or incidental findings on CT and/or MRI that raise suspicion for pancreatic cancer. These tests have relatively low specificity (ability to definitively discern between various diagnoses) in this setting. Perhaps due to a concern of missing early, small pancreatic cancers, physicians who perform EUS are increasingly referred patients with subtle CT or MRI findings such as ''enlarged pancreatic head" or ''dilation of the pancreatic duct (widening of the main duct coursing through the pancreas)." Endoscopic ultrasound and endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) have become a valuable tool in the diagnostic evaluation of patients with suspected pancreatic cancer. This technique allows for detection and possible needle biopsy of small pancreatic tumors even before they can be visualized as a discrete mass with CT or MRI. According to the American Cancer Society, deaths from pancreatic cancer in 2008 are estimated to be approximately 34,000.

"Often, patients with these radiologic findings are referred for EUS in lieu of waiting for repeated imaging. Our study looked to determine the performance characteristics of EUS and/or EUS with FNA in diagnosing a pancreatic
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Contact: Anne Brownsey
abrownsey@asge.org
630-570-5635
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Source:Eurekalert

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