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.
Aug 2, 2011 - Screening for tumor marker CA 19-9 followed by targeted endoscopic ultrasound when the level is elevated represents a feasible approach for identifying early pancreatic adenocarcinoma in a high-risk population, according to a study published in the July issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.