Feasibility and safety of microforceps biopsy in the diagnosis of pancreatic cysts

Published:March 03, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2018.02.039

      Background and Aims

      The tissue acquisition and diagnostic yield of cyst fluid cytology is low-to-moderate and rarely provides a specific diagnosis. The aim of this study was to compare the tissue acquisition and diagnostic tissue yield of microforceps biopsy (MFB) with cyst fluid cytology.


      In this multicenter study, data of 42 patients who had cysts both aspirated by EUS-guided FNA (EUS-FNA) and biopsy specimens were then obtained with an MFB device, were collected. Cytology analysis of cyst fluid and histologic analysis of biopsy specimens were done. Acquisition yield was defined as percentage of patients with tissue present in the aspirate or biopsy. Diagnostic tissue yield was evaluated at 3 levels: the ability of differentiation between mucinous and/or nonmucinous cysts, detection of high risk for malignancy, and specific cyst type diagnosis.


      The mean patient age was 69 years. Sixteen pancreatic cysts (38.1%) were located in the head, 17 (40.5%) in the body, and 9 (21.4%) in the tail. The mean cyst size was 28.2 mm (12-60 mm); 25 of 42 (60%) were septated. The EUS-FNA tissue (fluid) acquisition yield was 88.1% (37/42). The MFB tissue acquisition yield was 90.4% (38/42). The diagnostic cytology yield to differentiate between mucinous and/or nonmucinous cysts was 47.6% (20/42), and the MFB histologic yield to differentiate between mucinous and/or nonmucinous cysts was 61.9% (26/42) (P = .188). The percentage of cysts at high risk for malignancy by cytology was 54.7% (23/42), and MFB was 71.5% (30/42) (P = .113). However, the ability of MFB to provide a specific cyst type diagnosis was 35.7% (15/42), and that for cytology was 4.8% (2/42) (P = .001). Surgical histology was concordant with that of MFB in 6 of 7 patients (85%), and with that of cytology in 1 of 7 patients (15%).


      The cyst tissue acquisition yield for MFBs was 90%. Although cytology of cyst fluid and MFB were comparable in distinguishing mucinous and nonmucinous cysts and detecting cysts at high risk for malignancy, MFB was far superior to cytology for providing a specific cyst diagnosis.


      CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen), cPNET (cystic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor), EUS-FNA (EUS-guided FNA), IPMN (intraductal papillary neoplasm), MCN (mucinous cystic neoplasm), MFB (microforceps biopsy)
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