Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a relatively new procedure used to evaluate the gastrointestinal tract and surrounding organs.
This procedure is revolutionizing staging of esophageal, rectal and gastric cancer by improving its accuracy. It is also useful in accessing the chest for biopsy of lymph nodes in patients with lung cancer, suspected lymphoma or for biopsy of unknown masses in the chest.
- In the same way a ship's sonar can depict an iceberg under water, the high-frequency of EUS reveals the full extent and nature of abnormalities, including information that is critical to accurate diagnosis and optimum care.
- In skilled hands, EUS can locate abnormalities not detectable by any other means.
- EUS is done from inside the body, near or even touching the targeted area. A finer, higher frequency imaging energy can be used.
- The superior resolution of EUS shows all five layers of the digestive tract wall, almost like a microscope. No other test can see the intestinal wall as well.
- Because it is video-based, EUS also provides a seamless stream of data, eliminating the unseen and unrecorded gaps between the still images of CT scans.
- Allows noninvasive biopsy of chest lymph nodes or masses without risks of surgery (no incision, no surgery).
Common uses for EUS include:
- Staging of esophageal, stomach, pancreas and rectal cancer
- Evaluation of abnormalities of the gastrointestinal wall or adjacent structures
- Evaluation of thickened stomach folds (could be a smooth muscle tumor below the surface)
- Diagnosis (biopsy) and staging of pancreatic cancer
- Evaluation of pancreatic abnormalities (suspected masses, lesions, pancreatitis)
- Diagnosis and staging of bile duct cancer
- Evaluation of suspected gallstones in the bile duct
- Evaluation of anal muscles that may have been injured during childbirth, etc.