Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 225–232

Ultrasound-guided percutaneous pancreatic tumor biopsy in pancreatic cancer: a comparison with metastatic liver tumor biopsy, including sensitivity, specificity, and complications

  • Junichi Matsubara
  • Takuji Okusaka
  • Chigusa Morizane
  • Masafumi Ikeda
  • Hideki Ueno
Liver, Pancreas, and Biliary Tract



The aims of this study were to investigate the diagnostic value and safety of ultrasound-guided percutaneous pancreatic tumor biopsy (pancreatic biopsy) in patients with suspected unresectable pancreatic cancer, and to compare the data with those obtained by metastatic liver tumor biopsy (liver metastases biopsy).


Data were collected retrospectively from 388 patients (398 procedures) for whom a final diagnosis was available and who underwent ultrasoundguided pancreatic or liver metastases biopsy with a 21-gauge needle (core biopsy) or a 22-gauge needle (fine-needle aspiration biopsy: FNAB). The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of pancreatic and liver metastases biopsies were evaluated. Biopsy-related complications were collected and analyzed.


Data from 271 pancreatic and 112 liver metastases biopsy procedures were available. For pancreatic core biopsy and FNAB, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 93%, 100%, and 93%, and 86%, 100%, and 86%, respectively, all of which were comparable to those of liver metastases biopsy. The complication rate in pancreatic biopsy was 21.4%, including a 4.4% incidence of post-biopsy ephemeral fever. The complication rate in liver metastases biopsy was 38.7%, including an 8.0% incidence of ephemeral fever. Fever and infection occurred more frequently among patients who underwent liver metastases biopsy (4.4% vs. 11%: P = 0.038). In pancreatic biopsy cases, a prebiopsy high serum total bilirubin level was a statistically significant predictor of ephemeral fever.


Ultrasound-guided percutaneous pancreatic biopsy is an effective and safe modality for confirming the pathologic diagnosis in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.

Key words

pancreatic cancer biopsy sensitivity complications fever 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junichi Matsubara
    • 1
  • Takuji Okusaka
    • 1
  • Chigusa Morizane
    • 1
  • Masafumi Ikeda
    • 1
  • Hideki Ueno
    • 1
  1. 1.Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Oncology DivisionNational Cancer Center HospitalTokyoJapan

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