Background: The usage of endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) for the diagnosis of solid pancreatic cancer is increasing, however mainly retrospective studies are available about the detailed methods of sampling. Methods: To compare prospectively the diagnostic yield of EUS-FNA samples obtained with slow-pull (SP) and with standard suction technique (SS). Results: EUS-FNA sampling was diagnostic in 72 of 92 cases (78.3%). Diagnostic yield was 67.4% in the SS and 65.2% in the SP group. The number of smear pairs (1.84 vs. 3.56; p < 0.001) and blood contamination (1.50 vs. 2.19; p < 0.001) were significantly higher in the SS group, which resulted in lower rate of diagnostic samples (41.8% vs. 30.0%; p = 0.003). There was no difference in the cellularity (1.58 vs. 1.37; p = 0.2554), or in the sensitivity and specificity in the identification of malignancy between SP and SS subgroups (69.9, 100% vs. 73.5, 100%). Histological samples were obtained in 60 cases (with SP: 49 cases; with SS: 46 cases). There was no difference in the diagnostic yield of histological samples between the groups (63 and 58.7%). Conclusion: The diagnostic yield, the cellularity of smears and the rate of acquiring sufficient histological material are similar in the SP and SS group, but due to lower bloodiness and decreased number of slides, the pathological diagnosis is faster and more cost-effective.
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