Background and study aims: Celiac ganglia can be visualized by endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). It is unknown how often ganglia are visualized during EUS, and what clinical factors are associated with ganglion visualization. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the frequency of visualization of presumed celiac ganglia by EUS and to identify factors that predict their visualization. Patients and methods: Clinical, demographic, EUS, and cytologic data were collected prospectively from 200 unselected patients who were undergoing EUS in a tertiary referral centre. When presumed celiac ganglia were visualized, their size, number, location, and echo features were noted. When presumed ganglia were aspirated, the results of cytology were recorded. Results: The most common indication for EUS was investigation of a pancreatic mass or cyst (25%). Presumed celiac ganglia were identified in 81 % of patients overall. Logistic regression analysis determined that female sex and having no prior history of gastrointestinal surgery were independently associated with ganglion visualization. Among patients whose ganglia were visualized, more ganglia were seen per patient with linear echo endoscopes (2, range 0-5) than with radial echo endoscopes (1, range 0-4) (P= 0.001). Presumed celiac ganglia were aspirated in 10 patients; and cytologic examination revealed neural ganglia in all of these. Conclusions: Celiac ganglia can be visualized by EUS in most patients who undergo upper gastrointestinal EUS examinations, and are best seen with linear-array echo endoscopes. Ganglia can usually be differentiated from lymph nodes on the basis of their endosonographic appearance.
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