The reliability of EUS for the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis: interobserver agreement among experienced endosonographers.

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (Impact Factor: 4.9). 04/2001; 53(3):294-9. DOI: 10.1016/S0016-5107(01)70401-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a minimally invasive, low risk method of diagnosis for chronic pancreatitis (CP). The degree to which endosonographers agree on the features and diagnosis of CP is unknown. For EUS to be considered an accurate test for CP, there must be good interobserver agreement.
Forty-five pancreatic EUS examinations were videotaped by 3 experienced endosonographers. Examinations from 33 patients with suspected CP based on typical symptoms, as well as 12 control patients without suspected CP, were included. Eleven experienced endosonographers ("experts") who were blinded to clinical information independently evaluated all videotaped examinations for the presence of CP and the following 9 validated features of CP: echogenic foci, strands, lobularity, cysts, stones, duct dilatation, duct irregularity, hyperechoic duct margins, and visible side branches. The experts also ranked (most to least) which features they believed to be the most indicative of CP. Interobserver agreement was expressed as the kappa (kappa) statistic.
There was moderately good overall agreement for the final diagnosis of CP (kappa = 0.45). Agreement was good for individual features of duct dilatation (kappa = 0.6) and lobularity (kappa = 0.51) but poor for the other 7 features (kappa < 0.4). The expert panel had consensus or near consensus agreement (greater than 90%) on 206 of 450 (46%) individual EUS features including 22 of 45 diagnoses of CP. Agreement on the final diagnosis of CP was moderately good for those trained in third tier fellowships (kappa = 0.42 +/- 0.03) and those with more than 1100 lifetime pancreatic EUS examinations (kappa = 0.46 +/- 0.05). The presence of stones was regarded as the most predictive feature of CP by all endosonographers, followed by visible side branches, cysts, lobularity, irregular main pancreatic duct, hyperechoic foci, hyperechoic strands, main pancreatic duct dilatation, and main duct hyperechoic margins. The most common diagnostic criterion for the diagnosis of CP was the total number of features (median 4 or greater, range 3 or greater to 5 or greater).
EUS is a reliable method for the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis with good interobserver agreement among experienced endosonographers. Agreement on the EUS diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis is comparable to other commonly used endoscopic procedures such as bleeding ulcer stigmata and computed tomography of the brain for stroke localization and better than the physical diagnosis of heart sounds.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) with or without fine needle aspiration has become the main technique for evaluating pancreatobiliary disorders and has proved to have a higher diagnostic yield than positron emission tomography, computed tomography (CT) and transabdominal ultrasound for recognising early pancreatic tumors. As a diagnostic modality for pancreatic cancer, EUS has proved rates higher than 90%, especially for lesions less than 2-3 cm in size in which it reaches a sensitivity rate of 99% vs 55% for CT. Besides, EUS has a very high negative predictive value and thus EUS can reliably exclude pancreatic cancer. The complication rate of EUS is as low as 1.1%-3.0%. New technical developments such as elastography and the use of contrast agents have recently been applied to EUS, improving its diagnostic capability. EUS has been found to be superior to the recent multidetector CT for T staging with less risk of overstaying in comparison to both CT and magnetic resonance imaging, so that patients are not being ruled out of a potentially beneficial resection. The accuracy for N staging with EUS is 64%-82%. In unresectable cancers, EUS also plays a therapeutic role by means of treating oncological pain through celiac plexus block, biliary drainage in obstructive jaundice in patients where endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is not affordable and aiding radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
    World journal of gastrointestinal oncology. 09/2014; 6(9):360-8.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The epidemiology of chronic pancreatitis (CP) is incompletely understood. A number of difficulties exist in estimating the prevalence and incidence of CP. Long-term follow-up is often problematic, especially in chronic alcoholics, and obtaining a formal and standardised diagnosis can take years. The available studies are reasonably consistent in their estimation of the incidence of CP but few studies have attempted to estimate prevalence. Although life expectancy in CP is diminished compared with control populations, median survival lies in the range of 15-20 years. Such a survival would suggest a prevalence of CP rather higher than that determined from the survey studies. A recent epidemiological study in France found an annual incidence of 7.8 per 100,000. Assuming a survival of 15-20 years, the annual prevalence should be between 120 to 143 per 100,000. Overall, our understanding of the epidemiology of CP is poor compared with other illnesses. We consider that both prevalence and the rate of pancreatic insufficiency and of CP are currently underestimated. There is a distinct need for more studies to remedy this lack of knowledge.
    United European gastroenterology journal. 10/2014; 2(5):345-54.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Acute recurrent pancreatitis (ARP) refers to a clinical entity characterized by episodes of acute pancreatitis which occurs on more than one occasion. Recurrence of pancreatitis generally occurs in a setting of normal morpho-functional gland, however, an established chronic disease may be found either on the occasion of the first episode of pancreatitis or during the follow-up. The aetiology of ARP can be identified in the majority of patients. Most common causes include common bile duct stones or sludge and bile crystals; sphincter of oddi dysfunction; anatomical ductal variants interfering with pancreatic juice outflow; obstruction of the main pancreatic duct or pancreatico-biliary junction; genetic mutations; alcohol consumption. However, despite diagnostic technologies, the aetiology of ARP still remains unknown in up to 30% of cases: in these cases the term "idiopathic" is used. Because occult bile stone disease and sphincter of oddi dysfunction account for the majority of cases, cholecystectomy, and eventually the endoscopic biliary and/or pancreatic sphincterotomy are curative in most of cases. Endoscopic biliary sphincterotomy appeared to be a curative procedure per se in about 80% of patients. Ursodeoxycholic acid oral treatment alone has also been reported effective for treatment of biliary sludge. In uncertain cases toxin botulin injection may help in identifying some sphincter of oddi dysfunction, but this treatment is not widely used. In the last twenty years, pancreatic endotherapy has been proven effective in cases of recurrent pancreatitis depending on pancreatic ductal obstruction, independently from the cause of obstruction, and has been widely used instead of more aggressive approaches.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 12/2014; 20(45):16891-16901. · 2.43 Impact Factor