Efficacy and safety of EUS-guided through-the-needle microforceps biopsy sampling in categorizing the type of pancreatic cystic lesions

Published:October 05, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2021.09.035

      Background and Aims

      EUS-guided through-the-needle biopsy sampling (EUS-TTNB) using microbiopsy forceps is performed for the accurate diagnosis of pancreatic cystic lesions (PCLs). However, there are no standardized protocols for this procedure, and the amount of data on its efficacy is limited. Here, we evaluated the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of EUS-TTNB in categorizing the types of PCLs and identified the factors associated with diagnostic failure.


      The prospectively collected and maintained EUS-TTNB database at Asan Medical Center was reviewed to identify patients with PCLs who underwent EUS-TTNB between January 2019 and January 2021. The primary outcomes were technical success, diagnostic yield, and adverse events. Factors contributing to diagnostic failure and the discrepancies in the diagnosis made by conventional modalities (ie, EUS morphology, cross-sectional imaging, and cystic fluid analysis) were also evaluated.


      Forty-five patients were analyzed. EUS-TTNB was successfully performed in all patients (technical success, 100%). Histologic diagnosis of PCLs was made in 37 patients (diagnostic yield, 82%). When comparing EUS-TTNB with a presumptive diagnosis, EUS-TTNB changed the diagnosis in 10 patients in terms of the categorization of the types of PCLs. The diagnostic yield was significantly higher in those who had 4 or more visible biopsy specimens per session (93%) than in those with fewer than 4 visible biopsy specimens per session (67%; P = .045). During follow-up, 3 patients (7%) experienced adverse events (2 acute pancreatitis, 1 intracystic bleeding), and no life-threatening adverse event occurred.


      EUS-TTNB showed high technical feasibility, diagnostic yield, and good safety profile. EUS-TTNB may improve the categorization of the types of PCLs. Studies with standardized procedure protocols are needed to reduce the diagnostic failure for the types of PCLs.

      Graphical abstract


      CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen), EUS-TTNB (endoscopic ultrasound-through-the-needle biopsy sampling), IPMN (intrapapillary mucinous neoplasm), MCN (mucinous cystic neoplasm), PCL (pancreatic cystic lesion)
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