Background: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) are one of the most common mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. GIST are defined by positive immunohistochemical staining for KIT or CD34 and thus are generally diagnosed after surgery. Because small GIST are rarely diagnosed before surgery, the clinical course of these small tumors is not clear. The aim of the present study was to follow changes in size and configuration of small GIST that were pathologically confirmed using endoscopic ultrasonography-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy (EUS-FNAB). Methods: Between July 1997 and December 2003, 16 tumors in 16 patients (10 men and 6 women) with an immunohistochemical diagnosis of GIST were regularly followed in our hospital. The median patient age when EUS-FNAB was performed was 62 years (range 26-82 years) and the median follow-up period was 4.9 years (range 0.5-9.6 years). Results: Fourteen tumors showed no remarkable changes in size and shape during follow up compared with the initial diagnosis. Two tumors enlarged: one tumor approximately doubled its diameter in 8 years and the other tumor increased from 1.8 cm at diagnosis to up to 10 cm after only 2 years. Doubling time of the latter tumor was calculated as 3.1 months. Conclusions: We conclude that EUS-FNAB might be a good modality for final diagnosis of GIST without surgery, and that GIST without rapid growth on follow up can be endoscopically followed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging