Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) has become one of the most useful diagnostic modalities for the diagnosis of pancreatic mass. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of analyzing the minimal specimens obtained by EUS-FNA for the diagnosis of solid masses of pancreas.
This study consisted of retrospective and prospective analyses. The retrospective study was performed on 116 patients who underwent EUS-FNA of solid masses for cytological smear, histological analysis, and combined analysis including immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. In the prospective study, 79 patients were enrolled to evaluate the quality and accuracy of EUS-FNA histological analysis and feasibility of IHC staining.
The final diagnoses of all patients included pancreatic cancer (n = 126), nonpancreatic cancer (n = 21), other neoplasm (n = 27), and benign lesions (n = 21). In our retrospective study, the combined analysis was more sensitive than cytological analysis alone (P < 0.01). The overall sensitivity of cytology, histology, and combined analysis was 69.8%, 67.2%, and 81.8%, respectively. In the prospective analysis, 64.2% of all punctures were helpful for determining the diagnosis and 40.7% provided sufficient tissue for IHC staining. Histological analysis was helpful for diagnosis in 74.7% of patients. IHC staining was necessary for a definite diagnosis in 11.4% of patients, especially in the cases of nonmalignant pancreatic mass.
Histological analysis and IHC study of EUS-FNA specimens was useful for the accurate diagnosis of pancreatic and peripancreatic lesions. Combined analysis showed significantly higher sensitivity than cytology alone because IHC staining was helpful for a diagnosis in some patients.