Background: Although emerging data evidences that EUS-guided needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (nCLE) accurately diagnoses pancreatic cystic lesions (PCLs), there are a lack of interobserver agreement (IOA) studies utilizing reference histopathological diagnosis and for specific PCL subtypes. Hence, we sought to assess the IOA, intra-observer reliability (IOR), and diagnostic performance of EUS-nCLE using a large cohort of patients with histopathological diagnosis amongst a broad panel of international observers. Methods: EUS-nCLE videos (n = 76) of subjects with PCLs [intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN), mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN), serous cystadenoma (SCA), pseudocyst, and cystic-neuroendocrine tumors/solid pseudopapillary neoplasm (cystic-NET/SPN)], simulating clinical prevalence rates were obtained from 3 prospective studies. An international panel of 13 endosonographers with nCLE experience, blinded to all PCL data, evaluated the video library twice with a two-week washout for PCL differentiation (mucinous vs. non-mucinous) and subtype diagnosis. Results: The IOA (κ = 0.82, 95% CI 0.77–0.87) and IOR (κ = 0.82, 95% CI 0.78–0.85) were “almost perfect” to differentiate mucinous vs. non-mucinous PCLs. For PCL subtype, IOA was highest for SCA (almost perfect; κ = 0.85), followed by IPMN (substantial, κ = 0.72), and cystic-NET/SPN (substantial, κ = 0.73). The IOA was moderate for MCN (κ = 0.47), and pseudocyst (κ = 0.57). Compared to histopathology, observers differentiated mucinous vs. non-mucinous PCLs with high accuracy (94.8%, 95% CI 93.3–96.1). For detecting specific PCLs subtypes, EUS-nCLE was highly accurate in diagnosing non-mucinous cysts (SCA: 98%; cystic-NET/SPN: 96%; pseudocyst: 96%) and slightly less accurate for mucinous lesions (IPMN: 86%; MCN: 84%). Conclusion: Diagnosis of PCLs by EUS-nCLE guided virtual biopsy is very accurate and reliable for the most prevalent pancreatic cysts in clinical practice.
- Confocal endomicroscopy
- Endoscopic ultrasound
- Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm
- Pancreas cysts
- Pancreatic cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism