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Is endoscopic ultrasonography indispensable in patients with early gastric cancer prior to endoscopic resection?

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Endoscopic resection as curative treatment of early gastric cancer (EGC) requires accurate staging for depth of invasion (T) before therapy. This study aimed to compare T staging of EGC using a miniprobe with that of conventional endoscopy (CE).


A total of 388 patients with suspected of EGC by CE were prospectively enrolled in the study. After miniprobe staging by an experienced endosonographer, CE staging was performed by another endoscopist who was blinded to the miniprobe assessment. Patients underwent either endoscopic resection (n = 325) or surgery (=63) according to staging results. Results of each method were compared with the histology of the resected specimen. Clinicopathological factors affecting accuracy of each test were also evaluated.


Overall accuracy of miniprobe and CE staging was 78.9% (306/388) and 81.4% (316/388), respectively (p = 0.052). Sensitivity for T1m was more than 95% (miniprobe 98.7%, CE 97.7%), whereas sensitivity for T1sm was lower at 6.6% for miniprobe and 23.7% for CE (p = 0.002). Among nine lesions identically considered submucosal invasion by both methods, three were T1sm cancer. Diagnostic accuracy of the miniprobe was lower than that of CE with respect to lesions located in the lower third of the stomach, differentiated histology, or massive submucosal invasion.


Overall accuracy of the miniprobe and CE for T staging in EGC was approximately 80% with no significant difference. Accurate prediction of both techniques for submucosal invasion was poor, even by using a combination of the two methods. The use of the miniprobe may not increase the positive predictive value for T staging over the use of CE alone.

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Jeongmin Choi, Sang Gyun Kim, Jong Pil Im, Joo Sung Kim, Hyun Chae Jung, and In Sung Song have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Sang Gyun Kim.

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Choi, J., Kim, S.G., Im, J.P. et al. Is endoscopic ultrasonography indispensable in patients with early gastric cancer prior to endoscopic resection?. Surg Endosc 24, 3177–3185 (2010).

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