Journal of the Pancreas Open Access

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Focal or Diffuse "Fullness" of the Pancreas on CT. Usually Benign, but EUS Plus/Minus FNA Is Warranted to Identify Malignancy

Henning Gerke, John David Horwhat, Ruben Daniel Acosta, Darren A Pavey, Paul S Jowell

Context The role of EUS to evaluate subtle radiographic abnormalities of the pancreas is not well defined. Objective To assess the yield of EUS±FNA for focal or diffuse pancreatic enlargement/fullness seen on abdominal CT scan in the absence of discrete mass lesions. Design Retrospective database review. Setting Tertiary referral center. Patients and interventions Six hundred and 91 pancreatic EUS exams were reviewed. Sixty-nine met inclusion criteria of having been performed for focal enlargement or fullness of the pancreas. Known chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic calcifications, acute pancreatitis, discrete mass on imaging, pancreatic duct dilation (greater than 4 mm) and obstructive jaundice were excluded. Main outcome measurement Rate of malignancy found by EUS±FNA. Results FNA was performed in 19/69 (27.5%) with 4 new diagnoses of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, one metastatic renal cell carcinoma, one metastatic colon cancer, one chronic pancreatitis and 12 benign results. Eight patients had discrete mass lesions on EUS; two were cystic. All malignant diagnoses had a discrete solid mass on EUS. Conclusions Pancreatic enlargement/fullness is often a benign finding related to anatomic variation, but was related to malignancy in 8.7% of our patients (6/69). EUS should be strongly considered as the next step in the evaluation of patients with focal enlargement of the pancreas when clinical suspicion of malignancy exists.