Endoscopic ultrasound and pancreatic disordersheadingContent
Endoscopic ultrasound, also referred as to EUS, is a minimally-invasive imaging test combining endoscopy and ultrasound to diagnose and evaluate the pancreas. Using an ultrasound probe mounted on a flexible endoscope, the gastroenterologist is able to obtain detailed views of the pancreas and surrounding organs.
The procedure is done under sedation and it is very safe in experienced hands. EUS also allows the physician to detect and obtain a biopsy using ultrasound guidance of even very small lesions (<10mm) situated in the pancreas.
Why use EUS?
Noninvasive scans like MRI and CT scan are used as initial imaging modalities in patients with pancreatic diseases but often EUS is required to provide a more precise evaluation of specific pancreatic disorders.
Some of these disorders can include:
- Pancreatic masses and tumors
- Pancreatic cysts
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Autoimmune pancreatitis
- Acute pancreatitis
Using EUS the physician can insert a very thin caliber needle into the pancreas and obtain aspirates, or tissue samples, from the pancreas. Biopsies of the pancreas may be required in cases of pancreatic cysts, confirmation of pancreatic malignancy or autoimmune disorders of the pancreas.
Some of the more common indications for EUS of the pancreas are:
- Rule out chronic pancreatitis
- Abnormal dilation of the pancreatic duct seen by noninvasive imaging
- Evaluation of pancreatic cysts and drainage
- Biopsy of solid tumors
- Inconclusive CT/MRI for a pancreatic tumor
- EUS guided celiac plexus neurolysis for pain control
Your primary care physician may refer you to a gastroenterologist for diagnosis or treatment options of various pancreatic diseases and conditions.