Original Article

Journal of Medical Ultrasonics

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 19-26

First online:

Sonographically guided puncture of the pancreas: incidence of complications, and risk factors

  • Michael MuellerAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Ulm
  • , Richard Andrew MasonAffiliated withBrecksville Division, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • , Wolfgang KratzerAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Ulm Email author 
  • , Suemeyra OeztuerkAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Ulm
  • , Mark Martin HaenleAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Ulm

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Data yielded by transabdominal ultrasound-guided puncture techniques are valuable for determining the malignancy of inoperable mass lesions of the pancreas. In this study we analyzed the incidence of complications and the risk factors.


A total of 430 punctures of the pancreas were performed for 281 patients. Risk factors were prospectively assessed and complications were recorded. All punctures were sonographically guided.


The 281 patients underwent a total of 351 puncture procedures including 430 punctures and 901 passes. The maximum diameter of the pancreatic mass lesion was documented; the mean diameter was 48.3 ± 29.1 mm. 75.8 % of punctures were performed with a needle diameter of 0.7–0.95 mm, and 23.0 % of punctures were performed as cutting biopsies producing a tissue sample 1.2 or 1.6 mm in diameter. In 77.8 % of punctures, one puncture was performed, and in 21.9 %, two punctures were performed. Three punctures were performed for one patient (0.3 %) only. The incidence of major complications was 0.3 %. None of the assessed risk factors was associated with an elevated incidence of complications.


Our findings demonstrate the safety of transabdominal percutaneous puncture of the pancreas but do not enable conclusions to be drawn with regard to individual risk factors.


Pancreas Puncture Ultrasonography Complications Biopsy