The aim of the present prospective observational study was to diagnose and stage pancreatic carcinoma with a minimum of diagnostic procedures. Our experiences in 307 patients with a histologically confirmed pancreatic carcinoma show that for diagnosing pancreatic carcinoma sonography and computed tomography are sufficient in 95% of the cases. The combination of both has a sensitivity equal to that of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP; 96.8 vs. 98.7%; n.s., χ2 test). ERCP is only indicated in cases with negative sonography and computed tomography, and suspicion of pancreatic cancer. For tumor staging, the routine performance of angiography cannot be recommended in view of the fact that although it provides greater sensitivity for the evaluation of an infiltration of the portal vein (80% for angiography vs. 22% for sonography or computed tomography), it is associated with a lower positive predictive value (56.4 vs. 68 and 72%) which results in a lower accuracy. Despite recent advantages in diagnostic technology, less than 50% of unresectable tumors were identified preoperatively at a 10% false-positive rate. The major reason for unresectability is infiltration into the mesenteric axis, which cannot be identified laparoscopically. Laparoscopy or percutaneous biopsy is recommended only in the presence of a tumor with suspicion of distant metastasis detected by radiological imaging and requiring histological confirmation. In conclusion, sonography and computed tomography as the only diagnostic images are sufficient for diagnosing and staging of pancreatic carcinoma in more than 95% of the patients. Only a small number of patients needs further diagnostic procedures.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.