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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Endoscopic Ultrasound

Volume 5, Issue 2, March 2016, Pages 78-84.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.4103/2303-9027.180470. Copyright © Korenblit et al.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Recent reports have indicated that the time of day may impact the detection rate of abnormal cytology on gynecologic cytology samples. The aim of this study was to determine if procedure time or queue position affected the performance characteristics of endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) for diagnosing solid pancreatic malignancies.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study evaluating patients with solid pancreatic lesions in whom EUS-FNA was performed. Three timing variables were evaluated as surrogate markers for endoscopist fatigue: Procedure start times, morning versus afternoon procedures, and endoscopy queue position. Statistical analyses were performed to determine whether the timing variables predicted performance characteristics of EUS-FNA.

RESULTS: We identified 609 patients (mean age: 65.8 years, 52.1% males) with solid pancreatic lesions who underwent EUS-FNA. The sensitivity of EUS-FNA was 100% for procedures that started at 7 AM while cases that started at 4 PM had a sensitivity of 81%. Using start time on a continuous scale, each elapsed hour was associated with a 1.9% decrease in EUS-FNA sensitivity (P = 0.003). Similarly, a 10% reduction in EUS-FNA sensitivity was detected between morning and afternoon procedures (92% vs. 82% respectively, P = 0.0006). A linear regression comparing the procedure start time and diagnostic accuracy revealed a decrease of approximately 1.7% in procedure accuracy for every hour later a procedure was started. A 16% reduction in EUS-FNA accuracy was detected between morning and afternoon procedures (100% vs. 84% respectively, P = 0.0009). When the queue position was assessed, a 2.4% reduction in accuracy was noted for each increase in the queue position (P = 0.013).

CONCLUSION: Sensitivity and diagnostic accuracy of EUS-FNA for solid pancreatic lesions decline with progressively later EUS starting times and increasing numbers of procedures before a given EUS, potentially from endoscopist fatigue and cytotechnologist fatigue.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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