Clinical course of gastrointestinal stromal tumor diagnosed by endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration

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Background and Aim:

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are the most common mesenchymal tumor of the gastrointestinal tract. However, little is known about the clinical presentation of GIST, especially small lesions. The purpose of the present study was to clarify the efficacy of endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) for the diagnosis of GIST and to determine its clinical course.


Pathological and clinical records of GIST extracted from our institutional database between 1996 and 2012 were reviewed. All GIST cases were diagnosed pathologically by surgical specimen or EUS-FNA. To examine the efficacy of EUS-FNA for the diagnosis of GIST, the pathological findings of EUS-FNA were compared with the surgical findings from resected cases. Next, to clarify the clinical presentation of GIST, imaging findings and changes in tumor size over time were evaluated in follow up.


Of 84 cases of GIST, 67 were resected surgically after EUS-FNA; tumor size was <20 mm in 19 patients, and ≥20 mm in 48 patients. For the diagnosis of small GIST<20 mm, sensitivity and positive predictive value of EUS-FNA were 81.3% and 100%, respectively. A total of 27 patients with GIST was follow up for more than 1 year. Tumor size increased significantly during follow up. However, generalized linear analysis showed that there was no significant relationship between tumor size and follow up period.


The present results showed that even small GIST can be correctly identified by EUS-FNA. Moreover, size of small GIST increased significantly during follow up.

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