Biliary brushing cytology has become the standard of practice for the investigation of strictures of the biliary and pancreatic duct systems. The methodology however has a limitation in that it has low diagnostic sensitivity when only cytologic evaluation is used. A number of testing methodologies have been applied to brushing specimens in an attempt to improve overall sensitivity without loss of specificity. These have included DNA ploidy analysis, immunocytochemistry, individual gene mutational analysis, fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH), and next generation sequencing (NGS). Currently, FISH coupled with routine cytology appears to be the method of choice for improving diagnostic sensitivity. NGS shows significant promise for improvement of diagnostic sensitivity.

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