The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of and problems associated with endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) in the diagnosis and pre-operative staging of pancreatic cancer. 96 patients suspected of having pancreatic cancer were pre-operatively examined with EUS. 37 of these 96 patients had pancreatic cancer. Results of the EUS imaging were compared with findings of histology and/or surgery, and the patient's clinical course. The sensitivity and specificity of EUS for diagnosing pancreatic cancer were 89% and 97%, respectively. EUS had excellent sensitivity regardless of tumour size or location. EUS was accurate (90%) in determining tumour size in pancreatic cancers less than 3 cm in maximum diameter, but not for tumours greater than 3 cm (30%). The accuracy of tumour (T) and nodal (N) staging were 64% and 50%, respectively. EUS is a promising method for the early diagnosis and pre-operative staging of pancreatic cancers, but requires further refinement.
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