Percutaneous Pancreatic Biopsies—Still an Effective Method for Histologic Confirmation of Malignancy

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To determine the accuracy and safety of the percutaneous biopsy of pancreatic mass lesions.

Materials and Methods:

Over a 12-year period clinical parameters, imaging, pathologic results, and complications were assessed in patients undergoing percutaneous biopsies pancreatic lesions.


One hundred fifty-three patients underwent pancreatic biopsy. The preferred modality for performing the biopsy was ultrasound (93%, n=143) followed by computerized tomography (7%, n=10). Histologic diagnosis was achieved in 147 patients, of which 3 (2%) were benign and 144 (94%) were malignant. Complications included a single death from overwhelming hemorrhage and 2 patients with morbidity (hematoma and cerebrovascular accident). The sensitivity and specificity of percutaneous biopsies was 90% and 95%, respectively.


Ultrasound-guided and computerized tomographic-guided percutaneous biopsy of pancreatic lesions is an effective and safe method to confirm or refute malignancy in suspicious pancreatic lesions. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided Tru-Cut may have the added advantage of avoiding the risk of peritoneal soiling.

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