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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7678403, 7 pages
Research Article

Repeat Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine-Needle Aspiration in Patients with Suspected Pancreatic Cancer: Diagnostic Yield and Associated Change in Access to Appropriate Care

Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Received 8 June 2016; Revised 4 August 2016; Accepted 14 August 2016

Academic Editor: Helmut Neumann

Copyright © 2016 Robert A. Mitchell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. There is a high incidence of inconclusive cytopathology at initial EUS-FNA (endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration) for suspected malignant pancreatic lesions. To obtain appropriate preoperative or palliative chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, definitive cytopathology is often required. The utility of repeat EUS-FNA is not well established. Methods. A retrospective cohort study was conducted evaluating the yield of repeat EUS-FNA in determining a cytological diagnosis in patients who had undergone a prior EUS-FNA for diagnosis of suspected malignant pancreatic lesions with inconclusive cytopathology. The wait times to the second procedure and to decisions regarding therapy were calculated. Results. Overall, 45 repeat EUS-FNA procedures were performed over seven years for suspected malignant pancreatic lesions. Cytopathological class (I to IV) changed between first and second EUS-FNA in 32 patients (71%). Of 34 patients with an initially nonconclusive diagnosis, 20 had a conclusive diagnosis (59%) on repeat EUS-FNA. The cumulative yield after repeat EUS-FNA for definite pancreatic adenocarcinoma was 7 (16%). The median time interval between first and second EUS-FNA was 31 (7–175) days. Conclusions. A substantial number of patients had a definitive diagnosis of adenocarcinoma on repeat FNA and were, therefore, subsequently able to access appropriate care.