Endoscopic Ultrasound in the Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer

Matas Kalinauskas1, Vaida Ruseckaitė1, Vytautas Dūdėnas1

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine



Pancreatic cancer is a neoplasm with a mortality rate, which is almost equal to its occurrence. Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the most common malignancy with an incidence of over 90% of all pancreatic cancers. It is especially lethal, as its 5 year overall survival rate is less than 5%. However, the rate of survival is gradually increasing due to the new treatment methods and the improvement of diagnostic techniques. Endoscopic ultrasound is a diagnostic method with the highest sensitivity, when detecting malignant pancreatic lesions.Aim

To review scientific literature and determine the benefits and drawbacks of endoscopic ultrasound in diagnosing and treating pancreatic cancer.

Materials and methods

Literature analysis. A research articles in English language on the “PubMed” 2010 to 2019 database. Keywords used in the search: “Endoscopic ultrasound”, “Pancreatic cancer”.


Endoscopic ultrasound becomes the first choice method, when it comes to diagnosing small pancreatic tumors (<3cm), overlapping computer tomography and multi-detector-row computer tomography with EUS presenting a higher sensitivity (87%) and accuracy (92%) in detecting pancreatic tumors than MDCT. Furthermore, EUS plays a crucial role in diagnosis of small focal lesions and tumors with the help of EUS guided fine needle aspiration biopsy. Also, EUS guided FNA should be used in the preoperative examination of patients with pancreatic neoplasms. Moreover, EUS can be used as a palliative pain treatment for patients with PC with celiac plexus/ ganglion neurolysis.

Conclusions: many studies agree that EUS is a valuable tool in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer and should be used in practice more often than not. The main drawbacks are its availability due to the price and personnel required.

Keywords: Endoscopic ultrasound, pancreatic cancer