Curbside Consultation of the Pancreas: 49 Clinical Questions

Scott Tenner, MD, MPH; Alphonso Brown, MD, MS Clin Epi; Frank Gress, MD

Question 26: My Hospital Does Not Have An Endoscopic Ultrasonographer. Is It Safe For Me To Use Computed Tomography-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration For A Pancreatic Lesion? (continued)

Richard O'Farrell, MD

Fine needle aspiration biopsy is a safe and minimally invasive method which may used to obtain a tissue diagnosis of a pancreatic lesion under imaging guidance. Other modalities for obtaining a biopsy of a pancreatic mass include computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided approaches, and, of course, laparoscopy or laparotomy-operative biopsy. Unfortunately, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided fine needle aspiration is not available at all hospitals. The specificity of fine needle aspiration biopsy is less than perfect. Put simply, a negative biopsy result…