Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of peroral pancreatoscopy in the diagnosis of pancreatic diseases. Methods: Both 3.7-mm (thin) and 0.8-mm (ultra-thin) diameter fiberoptic pancreatoscopes were used in 115 cases (pancreatic cancer, 35; benign ductal stenosis, 20; intraductal papillary-mucinous tumor, 60). Results: Observation rates for pancreatic cancer, benign ductal stenosis, and intraductal papillary-mucinous tumor were, respectively, 63%, 80%, and 95%. Tumor vessels and papillary tumor were observed when pancreatic cancer was smaller than 2 cm but not when the tumor was larger than 2 cm. Stenosis without significant mucosal changes was observed in 62% of cases of benign ductal stenosis. Coarse mucosa and friability were observed more frequently in association with pancreatic cancer than benign ductal stenosis. Granular mucosa or papillary tumor could be observed in 74% of cases of intraductal papillary-mucinous tumor. Papillary tumor was observed with increasing frequency in cases of intraductal papillary-mucinous tumor as the degree of malignancy increased. Conclusions: Peroral pancreatoscopy with an ultra-thin fiberscope is useful in the diagnosis of minute pancreatic lesions. Peroral pancreatoscopy with a thin fiberscope can provide a definitive diagnosis of intraductal papillary-mucinous tumor including the degree of malignancy.
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