Accuracy and agreement of a large panel of endosonographers for endomicroscopy-guided virtual biopsy of pancreatic cystic lesions

Jorge D. Machicado, Bertrand Napoleon, Anne Marie Lennon, Samer El-Dika, Stephen P. Pereira, Damien Tan, Rahul Pannala, Mohit Girotra, Pradermchai Kongkam, Helga Bertani, Yunlu Feng, Hao Sijie, Ning Zhong, Vincent Valantin, Sarah Leblanc, Alice Hinton, Somashekar G. Krishna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1002
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Confocal endomicroscopy
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm
  • Pancreas cysts
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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