Combining the technologies of endoscopy and ultrasound, EUS greatly improves the ability to diagnose and stage gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. EUS enables the specialist to examine not only the lining, but also the entire thickness of the wall of the upper or lower gastrointestinal tract, thus supporting early detection of cancer and allowing for better or more proactive treatment options.
EUS is used with a CT scan to determine the extent of cancers of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, ampulla, pancreas, biliary tract and rectum. It is also used for diagnosing mediastinal malignancies and abnormalities.
EUS allows an accurate assessment of the depth of the cancer and can diagnose the spread of cancer to adjacent lymph glands.
For patients whose degree of cancer is unclear, EUS-guided fine needle aspiration can be used to obtain biopsies.
Patients with fecal incontinence, trauma to the sphincter during childbirth or submucosal lesions of the GI tract can also be evaluated with EUS.
EUS can be useful in diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain or weight loss that may be related to the pancreas or biliary tract.