Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration skill acquisition of gastrointestinal submucosal tumor by trainee endoscopists: A pilot study

Keiko Niimi, Osamu Goto, Kazumichi Kawakubo, Yousuke Nakai, Chihiro Minatsuki, Itsuko Asada-Hirayama, Satoshi Mochizuki, Satoshi Ono, Shinya Kodashima, Nobutake Yamamichi, Hiroyuki Isayama, Mitsuhiro Fujishiro, Kazuhiko Koike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) is an effective method for tissue diagnosis of gastrointestinal submucosal tumors (SMTs) that are difficult to diagnose by standard endoscopic biopsy. However, the learning curve, especially for gastrointestinal SMT, has not been sufficiently established. The aim of our study was to assess the skill acquisition and diagnostic accuracy of EUS-FNA for gastrointestinal SMT in trainee endoscopists in order to elucidate the optimal starting standards of EUS-FNA. Materials and Methods: We prospectively evaluated 51 EUS-FNA procedures for gastrointestinal SMT between May 2010 and March 2014. The procedure was performed by two trainee endoscopists and two expert endoscopists. We investigated the diagnostic yield of EUS-FNA and the factors associated with the accuracy between the trainee endoscopists and expert endoscopists. Results: The rate of adequate EUS-FNA materials for histological examination was 86.3%. Although infections occurred in two cases (3.9%), which were managed conservatively, no severe complications were identified. Comparing the trainee endoscopists with expert endoscopists, there was no significant difference in the rate of gaining adequate specimen (76.5% vs. 82.3%, P = 0.4626). However, the mean number of passes of the trainees tended to be more than that of the expert endoscopists (2.1 pass vs. 1.7 pass, P = 0.0511), and lesions located in the middle third of the stomach were the predictive factors for nondiagnostic tumors by the trainee endoscopists (P = 0.0075). Conclusion: EUS-FNA for gastrointestinal SMT by trainee endoscopists can be safely performed under the supervision of EUS-FNA expert endoscopists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalEndoscopic Ultrasound
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1


  • Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA)
  • Gastrointestinal submucosal tumors (GI SMTs)
  • Skill acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


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