Indexed on: 24 Nov '04Published on: 24 Nov '04Published in: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Clinics of North America
The widespread availability of endoscopic ultrasound has facilitated the evaluation of the pancreas and extrahepatic biliary system. Endosonography has been shown to be highly sensitive in the detection of choledocholithiasis (especially in patients with small stones and nondilated bile ducts) and gallbladder microlithiasis; however, the use of this technique in relation to endoscopic retrograde cholangiography and laparoscopic surgery in gallstone disease remains confusing. This article highlights the clinical performance and results of endoscopic ultrasound in this context and proposes strategies in relation to its use in association with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and surgery in common clinical practice. Endosonography allows the correct identification of patients with acute biliary pancreatitis and proves an important adjunct in eliminating other causes of undetermined pancreatitis.