(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) detect pancreatic lesions more effectively than computed tomography (CT) scans say the authors of a study published in the April 2012 issue of Gastroenterology. The study, entitled “Frequent Detection of Pancreatic Lesions in Asymptomatic High-Risk Individuals”, aimed to develop screening methods to detect curable, noninvasive pancreatic neoplasms.  

The researchers screened 225 asymptomatic adult high-risk individuals (HRIs) at five academic medical centers in the United States. Screening was performed using (CT), (MRI), and endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS). The researchers then compared results in a blinded, independent fashion.

In this study, 92 of 216 HRIs (42%) were found to have at least one pancreatic mass (84 cystic, 3 solid) or a dilated pancreatic duct (n=5) by any of the screening methods. Also, 51 of the 84 HRIs with a cyst (60.7%) had multiple lesions, which were typically small in size (mean, 0.55cm; range, 2–39mm), and found in multiple locations throughout the pancreas.

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“The prevalence of pancreatic lesions increased with age; they were detected in 14% of subjects younger than 50 years old, 34% of subjects 50–59 years old, and 53% of subjects 60–69 years old (P<.0001). CT, MRI, and EUS detected a pancreatic abnormality in 11%, 33.3%, and 42.6% of the HRIs, respectively,” the study authors wrote. “Among these abnormalities, proven or suspected neoplasms were identified in 85 HRIs (82 intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms and three pancreatic endocrine tumors). Three of five HRIs who underwent pancreatic resection had high-grade dysplasia in less than 3cm intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms and in multiple intraepithelial neoplasias.”

The study authors concluded that EUS and MRI detect pancreatic lesions more effectively than CT.