Role of Endoscopic Ultrasonography in Evaluation of Metastatic Lesions to the Pancreas: A Tertiary Cancer Center Experience

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Metastatic lesions to the pancreas pose diagnostic challenges with regards to their differentiation from primary pancreatic cancer. Data on the yield of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS)–guided fine-needle aspiration in detection of these lesions are limited.


This is a retrospective review of 23 patients referred to a tertiary referral center for further evaluation of suspected pancreatic metastases. Main outcome measures were diagnostic yield of endoscopic ultrasonography–guided fine-needle aspiration in evaluation of metastatic lesions to the pancreas.


Of 644 patients, 23 (3.6%) undergoing EUS of the pancreas were diagnosed to have metastatic disease to the pancreas based on clinical, radiological, and cytological results. Mean (SD) age was 64.3 (11.7) years. Of the 23 patients, 18 (78.3%) were asymptomatic. Mean (SD) size of lesion on EUS was 39.1 (19.9) mm. A diagnosis of malignant lesion was made in 21 of 23 cases, with a diagnostic accuracy of 91.3%.


Metastatic lesions to the pancreas present as incidental, solitary mass lesions on staging or surveillance imaging. Endoscopic ultrasonography–guided fine-needle aspiration is an important tool in the characterization and further differentiation of metastatic lesions to the pancreas from primary pancreatic cancer.

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