Accurate staging of esophageal cancer is critical to achieving optimal treatment outcomes. End-oscopic ultrasound with fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) has emerged as a valuable tool for locoregional staging. However, it is unclear how different physician specialties perceive the benefit of EUS-FNA for esophageal cancer staging, and thus utilize this modality in clinical practice. A survey regarding utilization of EUS-FNA in esophageal cancer was distributed to 211 thoracic surgeons and 251 EUS-capable gastroenterologists. Seventy-six thoracic surgeons (36%) and 78 gastroenterologists (31%) responded to the survey. Most surgeons (75%) use EUS to stage potentially resectable esophageal cancer 75% of the time. Surgeons using EUS less often are less likely to have access to high-quality EUS services than their peers. Fewer surgeons believe EUS is the most accurate test for T and N-staging (84% and 71%, respectively) as compared with gastroenterologists (97% and 96%, P < 0.01 for both). Most endosonographers (68%) decide whether to dilate a malignant esophageal stricture to complete the staging exam on a case-by-case basis. Surgeons disagree as to whether involvement of celiac lymph nodes should preclude esophagectomy in distal esophageal cancer. While most thoracic surgeons have embraced EUS-FNA as the most accurate locoregional staging modality in esophageal cancer, this attitude is not fully reflected in utilization patterns due to a lack of quality EUS services in some centers. Controversial areas that warrant further study include dilation of malignant strictures to facilitate EUS staging, and the implication of involved celiac lymph nodes on management.
- Esophageal neoplasms
- Neoplasm staging