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Preoperative endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration does not impair survival of patients with resected pancreatic cancer
  1. Saowanee Ngamruengphong1,
  2. Kristi M Swanson2,
  3. Nilay D Shah2,
  4. Michael B Wallace1
  1. 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  2. 2Division of Health Care Policy and Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael B Wallace, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA; Wallace.Michael{at}


Objective Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) allows preoperative tissue confirmation of malignancy, but fear of tumour cell dissemination along the needle track has limited its use. We hypothesised that if tumour cell dissemination occurs with EUS-FNA, survival after complete resection would be impaired. We aimed to evaluate the association of preoperative EUS-FNA with long-term outcomes of patients with resected pancreatic cancer.

Design Using the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)–Medicare data, we identified patients with locoregional pancreatic cancer who underwent curative intent surgery from 1998 to 2009. The patients who received EUS-FNA within the peridiagnostic period were included in the EUS-FNA group. Patients who did not receive EUS evaluation or who underwent EUS without FNA were included in the non-EUS-FNA group. Overall survival and pancreatic cancer-specific survival were compared after controlling for relevant covariates.

Results A total of 2034 patients with pancreatic cancer were included (90% pancreatic adenocarcinoma). Of these, 498 (24%) patients were in EUS-FNA group. Patients with multiple comorbidities and more recent diagnosis were more likely to receive EUS-FNA. In multivariate analysis, after controlling for age, race, gender, tumour histology, tumour stage, tumour grade, tumour location, SEER site, year of diagnosis, undergoing percutaneous aspiration/biopsy, Charlson Comorbidity Index, radiation and chemotherapy, EUS-FNA was marginally associated with improved overall survival (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.99), but did not affect cancer-specific survival (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.03).

Conclusions Preoperative EUS-FNA was not associated with increased risk of mortality. These data suggest that EUS-FNA can be safely performed for the work-up of suspicious pancreatic lesions.


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