Digestive diseases and sciences

Needle-Based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy for Evaluation of Cystic Neoplasms of the Pancreas.

PMID 28281172


The accurate diagnosis of cystic neoplasms of the pancreas (CNP) with current diagnostic methods is limited. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (nCLE) is a new technique which can obtain images from the cyst wall during EUS-fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA). The aim of this study was to assess the safety, feasibility, and diagnostic value of nCLE for CNP. Patients who underwent EUS-FNA to evaluate a CNP larger than 2 cm were enrolled. The cyst was punctured with 19-G FNA needle preloaded with an nCLE probe. The images from different areas of the cyst wall were recorded. Using the final diagnosis defined by surgery or EUS-FNA cyst fluid analysis, the accuracy of the confocal images was defined. The procedure and image acquisition was successful in 18 of the 20 patients. Predefined typical structures for mucinous cysts were visualized in 8 of 12 (66%) cysts but none of the non-mucinous cysts. The superficial vascular network which is a typical finding of serous cysts was observed in 2 of 3 patients. The sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy of the findings of epithelial structures by nCLE were 66, 100, and 80%, respectively, for a mucinous cyst diagnosis. All patients tolerated the procedure well, and no adverse effects were determined. nCLE was found to be safe and feasible with high technical success, in this pilot study. With an overall accuracy of 80%, it has the potential to contribute to the diagnosis of CNP with specific imaging.