Endoscopic Ultrasound

UW Health Gastroenterology and Hepatology specialists in Madison, Wisconsin provide the latest in diagnostic tools to identify and manage conditions related to the digestive tract, liver and pancreas.
What is Endoscopic Ultrasound?
Endoscopic Ultrasound, or EUS, is an exam that is used to obtain information about the digestive tract and the surrounding tissues and organs.

During an EUS exam, a thin flexible tube with an ultrasound tip is passed through the mouth and into the esophagus, stomach and upper part of the small bowel. For evaluation of rectal tumors, the tube is passed through the anus. The ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the organs and structures inside the body such as the bile duct and pancreas.

In contrast to a traditional ultrasound, during an EUS the ultrasound transducer is in close proximity to the organs of interest. As a result, images obtained through an EUS are more accurate and detailed.

Endoscopic Ultrasound Uses
EUS is a relatively new diagnostic tool that is used to: 
  • Identify and determine the severity of cancers of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, rectum and the posterior chest wall
  • Evaluate chronic pancreatitis and other masses or cysts of the pancreas 
  • Study bile duct abnormalities 
  • Examine the lining of the intestinal tract
  • Examine tumors in the lining of the stomach
  • Evaluate lymph nodes suspected to be involved with cancer
EUS can provide information about a cancer in depth and whether it has begun to affect adjacent tissues and lymph nodes.
During the procedure, samples of tissue or cells may be obtained using a thin needle in a process called Fine Needle Aspiration, or FNA. Fine Needle Aspiration is often used on lymph nodes or suspicious tumors.

The entire procedure takes 30-90 minutes depending on the complexity and whether Fine Needle Aspiration is performed. If tissue or cell samples are collected and sent for analysis, results can take 48-72 hours to return.