alexa Contrast harmonic echo-endoscopic ultrasound improves accuracy in diagnosis of solid pancreatic masses.
Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology

Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System

Author(s): Fusaroli P, Spada A, Mancino MG, Caletti G

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Abstract BACKGROUND & AIMS: Contrast harmonic echo (CHE) has been developed for endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). This new technique detects echo signals from microbubbles in vessels with very slow flow, without artifacts. We assessed whether CHE-EUS increases the accuracy of diagnosis of pancreatic solid lesions. METHODS: At a tertiary-care EUS center, we examined 90 patients who were suspected of having pancreatic solid neoplasm. Radial and linear echoendoscopes were used with dedicated software for CHE. Sonovue (Bracco International BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) uptake, pattern, and washout were studied; data were compared for pancreatic lesions and adjacent parenchyma. The final diagnosis was obtained based on results of surgical pathology and/or EUS-fine needle aspiration (FNA) analyses. RESULTS: The finding of a hypoenhancing mass with an inhomogeneous pattern was a sensitive and accurate identifier of patients with adenocarcinoma (96\% and 82\%, respectively) (49 of 51 patients with primary pancreatic adenocarcinoma had a hypoenhancing mass that was inhomogeneous and had fast washout). This finding was more accurate in diagnosis than the finding of a hypoechoic lesion using standard EUS (P < .000). Hyperenhancement specifically excluded adenocarcinoma (98\%), although sensitivity was low (39\%). Of neuroendocrine tumors, 11 of 13 were non-hypo-enhancing (9 hyperenhancing, 2 isoenhancing). Interestingly, CHE-EUS allowed detection of small lesions in 7 patients who had uncertain standard EUS findings because of biliary stents (n = 5) or chronic pancreatitis (n = 2). Targeted EUS-FNA was performed on these lesions. CONCLUSIONS: Detection of a hypoenhancing and inhomogeneous mass accurately identified patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. CHE-EUS increased the detection of malignant lesions in difficult cases (patients with chronic pancreatitis or biliary stents) and helped guide EUS-FNA. A hyperenhancing pattern could be used to rule out adenocarcinoma. Copyright (c) 2010 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This article was published in Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System

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