BACKGROUND: Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) has proven a useful and safe diagnostic tool for assessing pancreatic disease in human medicine. No information about pancreatic EUS-FNA is available in dogs.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the feasibility and safety of pancreatic EUS-FNA in healthy dogs.
ANIMALS: Thirteen beagles with a median body weight of 13.4 kg.
METHODS: Experimental study. An ultrasound endoscope (insertion tube outer diameter 11.8 mm) was used, and FNA was carried out with 19 G needles. The optimal puncture site was chosen with the aid of Doppler imaging. Complete clinicopathologic assessments including pain scoring and pancreas-specific lipase measurements were obtained before EUS as well as on day 1 and day 2 after EUS-FNA.
RESULTS: The pancreatic body was identified in all dogs, the left lobe was clearly identified in 9/13 and appeared indistinctly marginated in 4/13 dogs, and the distal third of the right lobe could not be identified in 7/13 dogs. EUS-FNA was carried out in 12/13 dogs. Cellularity of smears was adequate for evaluation in 8/12 cases, in which samples were obtained transgastrically (n = 4) or transduodenally (n = 4). All dogs recovered uneventfully and no clinical and laboratory abnormalities occurred during the 48 hour monitoring period after the procedure.
CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Although the healthy canine pancreas is difficult to visualize in its entirety with EUS, pancreatic EUS-FNA with a 19 G needle is feasible in medium-sized dogs and can be considered a safe procedure. Its diagnostic usefulness should be evaluated in dogs with pancreatic disease.