What is an Endoscopic Ultrasound?

Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN
Last Modified: June 16, 2002


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
What is an Endoscopic Ultrasound?  


Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN, OncoLink's Clinical Trials Coordinator, responds:

Endoscopic ultrasound was first used in the early 1980's. It is essentially a scope (slender, flexible tube) that has an ultrasound on the end of it. Ultrasound technology uses sound waves of extremely high frequency to allow the physician to "see" through the colon wall. This helps determine the depth of the tumor and if any nearby lymph nodes are enlarged, suggesting that tumor has spread to them. It can be used for staging in any gastrointestinal tumor, including colon, gastric, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers.