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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 368-372

The role of contrast-enhanced endoscopic ultrasound in pancreatic adenocarcinoma

1 Research Center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Craiova, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Craiova, Craiova, Romania; Division of Endoscopy, Gastro Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Herlev, Denmark
2 Division of Endoscopy, Gastro Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Herlev, Denmark
3 Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adrian Saftoiu
66 1 Mai Bvd, 200638 Craiova, Romania

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2303-9027.190932

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Contrast-enhanced endoscopic ultrasound (CE-EUS) allows characterization, differentiation, and staging of focal pancreatic masses. The method has a high sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma which is visualized as hypo-enhanced as compared to the rest of the parenchyma while chronic pancreatitis and neuroendocrine tumors are generally either iso-enhanced or hyper-enhanced. The development of contrast-enhanced low mechanical index harmonic imaging techniques used in real time during endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) allowed perfusion imaging and the quantification of intensity of the contrast signal through time-intensity curve analysis. Thus, contrast harmonic imaging-EUS has been used to differentiate pancreatic adenocarcinoma based on lower values of the peak enhancement. Future applications of CE-EUS in pancreatic adenocarcinoma include not only use of targeted contrast agents for early detection, tridimensional and fusion techniques for enhanced staging and resectability assessment but also novel applications of perfusion imaging for monitoring ablative therapy, improved local detection through EUS-guided sampling of portal vein flow or enhanced drug delivery through sonoporation and ultrasound-induced release of the drugs locally.

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