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Echoendoscopy – Current situation in gastroenterology

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ABSTRACT
Echoendoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound or endosonography is an examination that combines endoscopic and ultrasound images in order to evaluate the lesions found not only in the gastrointestinal tract wall but also around it. This investigation also allows staging patients with gastrointestinal cancer, tumors of the pancreas and lung. Therefore, the indications for endoscopic ultrasound are very broad (some more supported by the literature than others) and their utilities are multiple. The current trend is to move from diagnostic echoendoscopy to a therapeutic one, since it is being used for multiple purposes, such as guiding minimally invasive surgical procedures. A concise review of the literature was made to summarize the applications of endoscopic ultrasound, in order to familiarize gastroenterologists with their indications and possible therapeutic applications. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), also known as endosonography (ES) and endoscopic ultrasound (UE), is an examination that combines the endoscopic image with the ultrasound image to evaluate lesions located in and around the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. Although it was described more than 20 years ago, its indications, both diagnostic and therapeutic, remain unknown by the majority of medical specialists or general practitioners. Every day more and more publications about EUS are published, describing new indications of this interesting examination and ratifying those previously described, making it an indispensable tool within a gastroenterology service.
Key-words: echoendoscopy, endoscopy ultrasound, technique, indications, accuracy.

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