Although a large gauge needle can procure more tissue at endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA), its advantage over smaller needles is unclear. This study compared flexible 19G and 25G needles for EUS-FNA of solid pancreatic masses.Methods
This was a randomized trial of patients undergoing EUS-FNA of pancreatic masses using flexible 19G or 25G needle. Main outcome measure was to compare median number of passes for on-site diagnosis. Secondary measures were to compare specimen bloodiness, complications, technical failures, and histological core tissue procurement.Results
One hundred patients were randomized to EUS-FNA using flexible 19G or 25G needle. Median of 1 pass was required to achieve on-site diagnosis of 96% and 92% (P = 0.68) in 19G and 25G cohorts. There was no significant difference in technical failure (0% vs 2%, P = 0.99) or adverse events (2% vs 0%, P = 0.99) between 19G and 25G cohorts. Although histological core tissue procurement was significantly better with flexible 19G needle (88% vs 44%, P < 0.001), specimens were bloodier (severe bloodiness, 36% vs 4%; P < 0.001).Conclusions
As there is no significant difference in the performance of flexible 19G and 25G needles, needle choice for sampling pancreatic masses should be based on endoscopist preference and need for histology.