Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)


Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), also known as endoscopic ultrasonography, is a diagnostic technique that allows doctors to get a clearer view of issues involving the liver and bile ducts by combining ultrasound with the use of a special device called an endoscope. 

An endoscope is a thin, flexible camera that can be passed down the patient’s throat, through the stomach and into the duodenum, which is the initial portion of the small intestine. The endoscopic ultrasound procedure utilizes an endoscope that’s fitted at the tip with a small ultrasound transducer, which uses low-frequency sound waves to create detailed images of internal structures and tissues without radiation.

In addition to allowing specialists called endoscopists to examine the organs and tissues of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, EUS can be utilized to create images of hard-to-image organs that are situated near the GI tract, including the liver. Positioning the ultrasound source nearer to the liver allows the endoscopist to avoid structures that can make ultrasound images less clear, including the rib cage, bowel loops, gallbladder and abdominal wall.   

How the Endoscopic Ultrasound Procedure is Performed 

Endoscopic ultrasound is performed while the patient is sedated, and usually takes less than an hour. With the patient usually lying on their left side, the endoscopic specialist feeds the endoscope down the patient’s throat, through the stomach and into the duodenum.

Once the endoscope is in position, the ultrasound source allows the endoscopist to create detailed images of the liver and associated organs.

Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine-Needle Aspiration (EUS/FNA)  

At Hoag, one groundbreaking technique we utilize to help diagnose conditions of the liver and associated organs is endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS/FNA). EUS/FNA is a technique that uses the images created by endoscopic ultrasound to precisely guide a needle passed through the skin while collecting tissue samples.

Allowing for pinpoint-accurate biopsy of suspected tumors or lesions, EUS/FNA gives physicians the ability to more easily detect serious conditions, early-stage cancers and other diseases. Early detection can lead to intervention while issues are still treatable or manageable. That can save lives. Read more about Hoag’s groundbreaking diagnostic and treatment options for liver cancer.