Endosonography is one of the most modern endoscopic examinations connecting endoscopy and ultrasound, which produces images of the digestive system and the adjoining organs. EUS is particularly useful to evaluate: pancreas, bile duct, gall bladder, the wall of the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, and blood vessels of the abdominal cavity. Due to the fact that the transducer adjoins (through the ventricular or duodenal wall) to examined organ, the highest quality images and diagnostic precision are obtained.
Indications for the examinations:
- Pancreas disorders (inflammations, cysts, tumors);
- Bile duct disorders (urolithiasis, cancer lesions);
- Ambiguous results of abdominal cavity imaging (ultrasound, CT scan);
- Unexplained by other examinations pains in abdominal cavity/epigastrium, especially in people over 50 years of age;
When it is necessary to obtain samples for microscopic examination – cytological – it is possible to puncture the lesions with a specialist diagnostic needle. The advantage of endoscopy over other methods of imaging is the possibility to detect small focal lesions in the pancreas and early diagnosis of pancreas cancer. The normal image of the pancreas in EUS examination allows excluding cancer with a high level of probability.
In case of pancreatic diseases possibility of detecting of early changes in chronic pancreatitis or facilitating diagnosis in case of acute pancreatitis of unknown origin is an advantage of EUS. For the patient the examination is nearly as burdensome as gastroscopy and may be performed under sedation or anaesthesia. The examination lasts from 20 to 30 minutes.
Preparation for the examination
Before the examination, as in the case of gastroscopy, the patient cannot eat 6 hours before the examination.