Objective Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) allows preoperative tissue confirmation of malignancy, but fear of tumour cell dissemination along the needle track has limited its use. We hypothesised that if tumour cell dissemination occurs with EUS-FNA, survival after complete resection would be impaired. We aimed to evaluate the association of preoperative EUS-FNA with long-term outcomes of patients with resected pancreatic cancer. Design Using the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare data, we identified patients with locoregional pancreatic cancer who underwent curative intent surgery from 1998 to 2009. The patients who received EUS-FNA within the peridiagnostic period were included in the EUS-FNA group. Patients who did not receive EUS evaluation or who underwent EUS without FNA were included in the non-EUS-FNA group. Overall survival and pancreatic cancer-specific survival were compared after controlling for relevant covariates. Results A total of 2034 patients with pancreatic cancer were included (90% pancreatic adenocarcinoma). Of these, 498 (24%) patients were in EUS-FNA group. Patients with multiple comorbidities and more recent diagnosis were more likely to receive EUS-FNA. In multivariate analysis, after controlling for age, race, gender, tumour histology, tumour stage, tumour grade, tumour location, SEER site, year of diagnosis, undergoing percutaneous aspiration/biopsy, Charlson Comorbidity Index, radiation and chemotherapy, EUS-FNA was marginally associated with improved overall survival (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.99), but did not affect cancer-specific survival (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.03). Conclusions Preoperative EUS-FNA was not associated with increased risk of mortality. These data suggest that EUS-FNA can be safely performed for the work-up of suspicious pancreatic lesions.
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