Cystic lesions of the pancreas are being detected with increasing frequency. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) is one of the most precise methods of diagnosis but still has limited accuracy. A new, through-the-needle cytologic brush system (EchoBrush; Cook Medical, Bloomington, Ind) has been approved for use during EUS evaluation of cystic pancreatic lesions.
Data from 127 EUS-FNAs of pancreatic cystic lesions were analyzed to compare the cytologic yield of EchoBrush with conventional EUS-FNA. An attending cytopathologist was present on site to assess specimen adequacy in all the cases. Diagnostic yields of both procedures, as well as related adverse events, were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed with the SPSS 15.0 version software (SPSS, Chicago, Ill).
A total of 127 cystic lesions of the pancreas from 120 patients (42 men and 78 women, mean age of 62.17 ± 12.17 years) were included in the study. Mean size of lesions was 23.58 ± 21.69 mm. Adequacy of the samples and diagnostic yield were higher using EchoBrush. In 80 (63 %) cases, conventional EUS-FNA was performed, whereas in 47 (37%), we used EchoBrush. Diagnostic material was obtained in 85.1% (40 of 47) of cases using EchoBrush and in 66.3% (53 of 80) with conventional EUS-FNA. (P < .05). There were very few clinically relevant complications related to EUS-FNA and EUS-EchoBrush techniques.
This study suggests that cytological specimens from pancreatic cystic lesions obtained using EchoBrush at the time of EUS are superior to conventional EUS-FNA mainly because of the higher yield of epithelial cells. Larger studies are needed to compare both methods.