Adenocarcinoma is the most frequent pathology diagnosed in patients with pancreatic mass lesions, and it must be differentiated into benign and inflammatory tumors.
<bold>The aim of the study</bold> was to define the efficacy of ultrasound, computed tomography (US/CT) and fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) in the assessment of pancreatic mass lesions.
<bold>Material and methods.</bold> The study population comprised 150 consecutive patients with heterogeneous pancreatic mass lesions treated at our department between 1999 and 2004. Imaging examinations with US/CT and FNAB were carried out in all the patients. The final nature of the tumor was established based on histopathology in patients who underwent surgery or based on the follow-up course in patients who were not referred to surgical exploration. The sensitivity and specificity of US/CT and FNAB were calculated by comparing the clinical diagnosis resulting from US/CT interpretation and FNAB results obtained before treatment with the final diagnosis.
<bold>Results.</bold> FNAB appeared to be a safe and relatively simple procedure with no remarkable complications. Malignant tumors were finally diagnosed in 99 (66%), and benign were finally diagnosed tumors in 51 (34%) patients. The sensitivity and specificity were calculated to be 90% and 77.3% for US/CT and 86.9% and 100% for FNAB, respectively.
<bold>Conclusions.</bold> The imaging examination with US/CT is a relatively reliable method for the differential diagnosis of pancreatic mass lesions. A positive FNAB has still remained the most accurate diagnostic method.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.