Intraductal ultrasound (IDUS) probes mounted with 30 MHz or 20 MHz transducers were evaluated in the diagnosis of 239 patients with pancreatic disease (including 48 cancers, 90 mucin-producing tumors, seven islet-cell tumors, two metastatic pancreatic tumors, seven serous cystadenomas, one pancreatic teratoma, three solid cystic tumors, 49 cases of chronic pancreatitis, 25 cases of focal pancreatitis, and seven cases of pancreatolithiasis). The probe was inserted via the papilla into the main pancreatic duct. In terms of resolution, IDUS at 20 MHz was able to image cystic lesions of less than 30 mm in diameter and solid lesions of less than 20 mm in diameter. With regard to vessels, IDUS was able to image the entire cross-section of the portal vein and other large veins, IDUS was useful in detecting carcinoma in situ and small tumors, in assessing the intraductal spread of the tumor and its pancreatic parenchymal invasion in mucin-producing tumors of the main duct, and in assessing the indications for surgery by revealing mural nodules in mucin-producing tumors of the ductal branches. IDUS was also useful in evaluating the feasibility of partial resection of the tumor in mucin-producing tumors of the ductal branches and pancreatic islet-cell tumors, in accurately locating multiple lesions in pancreatic islet-cell cancer, and in differentiating benign from malignant cases of localized stenosis of the main pancreatic duct related to pancreatic stenting. With IDUS, the site of pancreatic stones could be identified in order to assess the need for endoscopic treatments such as stenting of the pancreatic duct and the bile duct, and the use of pulsed-dye laser treatment under pancreatoscopy for pancreatic stones. Acute pancreatitis as a complication occurred in one of the 239 patients who underwent IDUS (0.4%). An awareness of the limitations and usefulness of IDUS in evaluating pancreatic diseases can contribute to the treatment of these conditions.
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