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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2007 August;98(4):339-42

language: Italian

Endoscopic ultrasound-fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) for pancreatic lesions: effectiveness in clinical practice

Rocca R., Daperno M., Crocellà L., Lavagna A., Salvetto M.

S.C. Gastroenterologia ed Endoscopia Digestiva ASO Ordine Mauriziano, Torino


Endoscopic ultrasound-fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) was shown to be a highly reliable and a very effective diagnostic technique, both based on data from clinical trials and from large clinical practice studies. EUS-FNA results are reported to be in good-to-very good agreement with the final diagnosis, and the agreement significantly exceeded the chance agreement. The overall sensitivity and specificity of EUS and of EUS-FNA are very good. EUS-FNA is an effective diagnostic technique for the evaluation of pancreatic lesions, either reported with other imaging tests or suspected on the basis of clinical and biochemical features. EUS-FNA may be performed in most cases, and the results of EUS-FNA are particularly important for their excellent positive predictive value. Nonetheless, in a few cases EUS-FNA can not be feasible, or can give false negative or inconclusive results. The main practical consequence is that before referring patients to surgeons or oncologists, EUS-FNA should be considered as the best diagnostic strategy, since ‘tissue is still the issue’ . In a prospective two-centers consecutive series from Italy, FNA did not give any false positive diagnoses of malignancy, and reduced the number of indeterminate diagnoses; moreover, FNA significantly increased the specificity of diagnosis, while sensitivity was unchanged.

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