Percutaneous fine-needle aspiration of gastrointestinal wall lesions with image guidance.
The fear of complications related to transgression of the bowel wall has limited the application of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) in gastrointestinal wall masses. We have undertaken a study examining our use of image-guided FNA in this setting, and evaluated diagnostic outcome and procedural risk. Twenty patients underwent percutaneous computed topography (CT) or ultrasound (U/S)-guided FNA biopsy of gastrointestinal wall masses over a 3-yr period. Hollow-bore needles were used to aspirate 8 gastric wall masses, 5 perirectal/distal sigmoid masses, 4 colonic masses, and 3 small-bowel masses. Lesions ranged in size from 1.5-13.0 cm (mean, 3.9 cm). One to five passes were made into each lesion (mean, 2.4). Immediate assessment for adequacy by a cytopathologist was performed in all cases. Neoplastic processes were identified in 15 cases (8 primary adenocarcinomas, 2 gastrointestinal stromal tumors, 3 metastases to the bowel wall, 1 Kaposi's sarcoma, and 1 primary lymphoma). Eleven of these 15 patients had histologic confirmation (all neoplastic lesions, excepting patients with metastases or Kaposi's sarcoma). Negative diagnoses (no evidence of malignancy) were obtained in the remaining 5 patients (2 benign colonic epithelium, 1 benign lymphoid population, 1 benign stroma, and 1 acute inflammatory process). A benign clinical course was followed in 4 patients, with 1 patient lost to follow-up. No acute or chronic postprocedural complications were identified. The earlier literature as well as this current study suggest that complications of FNA in this setting are rare. Diagnostic material may be obtained in a less invasive manner than open surgical biopsy.
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