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I read with great interest the article by Lee and colleagues (Gut 2005;54:1541–5) regarding the accuracy of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) in diagnosing ascites and predicting peritoneal metastases in patients with gastric cancer. I would like to thank the authors for quoting our study.1 Lee and colleagues commented that the sensitivity of detection of ascites was lower in our study and that this might be due to the use of catheter probe. I would however like to point out that such a comparison was unfair as the two studies were fundamentally different in two ways.
(1) The patient populations of the two studies were different. Our study excluded all patients with evidence of ascites on physical examination or computed tomography (CT) scan. We believe that there is no need for an additional EUS to confirm the presence of ascites in such patients. Moreover, such patients should have paracentesis for cytological examination rather than a locoregional staging …
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