Author(s): Kaffes AJ, Mishra A, Simpson SB, Jones DB
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a relatively new method used in the investigation and staging of upper gastrointestinal tract (UGIT) disease. AIMS: To review practice and outcomes of EUS in an Australian university teaching hospital. METHODS: The first part of the study was a retrospective review of indications, safety, referral patterns and technical difficulties of all EUS procedures performed at Concord Hospital, New South Wales, Australia, over a 10-year period from 1990 to 2000. The second part of the study examined the impact of EUS on the management of 225 consecutive cases, as determined by a questionnaire completed by each of the referring doctors. RESULTS: A total of 537 EUS examinations was performed over the 10-year period. Indications for EUS included: (i) assessment of oesophageal lesions (241), (ii) assessment of gastric lesions (184) and (iii) assessment of pancreaticobiliary (112) disease. Cancer staging was performed in 46.7\% of oesophageal and 31.4\% of gastric cases. Sedation was achieved using intravenous midazolam (5.3+/-1.3 mg; mean +/- SD) and 52\% of cases required additional intravenous pethidine (48.5+/-10.0 mg; mean +/- SD). Technical difficulties were encountered in 11\% of cases and these were mainly related to nontraversable luminal stricturing. Of the 537 referrals, 48.2\% were from within Central Sydney Area Health Services, and the remainder were from other Sydney hospitals, New South Wales regional centres and interstate. Of 225 questionnaires sent to referring doctors, 146 questionnaires were completed and returned for analysis. EUS aided staging of malignant disease, and confirmed or established a diagnosis in 86\% of cases. The diagnostic accuracy of EUS was 76\% when confirmed histologically. EUS avoided further diagnostic investigations in the majority of cases and in 25\% of cases surgery was avoided. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) during EUS would have been useful in 30\% of cases. Overall, clinical decision-making and management were changed in one-third of cases. CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopic ultrasound is an accurate, safe and useful imaging method in UGIT disease. The increasing demand for EUS and EUS-guided FNAB suggests an expanding future for EUS in Australia.
This article was published in Intern Med J
and referenced in Journal of Hepatology and Gastrointestinal disorders