Background and Aim: Preoperative histological evaluation of pancreatic neoplasms is important for guiding the resection strategy and preventing postoperative adverse events. However, conventional endoscopic methods have technical limitations that reduce the accuracy of the histopathological examination. Probe electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PESI-MS) may be a useful technique for rapidly evaluating small specimens. Methods: This single-center prospective study included patients with pancreatic neoplasms between October 2018 and December 2019. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) specimens were obtained via endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) and non-neoplastic tissue was obtained via surgery. Specimens were subjected to PESI-MS and the mass spectra were analyzed using partial least squares regression-discriminant analysis. Results: The study included 40 patients with 20 nonneoplastic specimens and 19 PDAC specimens (1 case of neuroendocrine carcinoma was omitted). All nonneoplastic specimens were sufficient for PESI-MS analysis, although only 7 of 19 PDAC specimens were sufficient for PESI-MS analysis because of poor sample quality or insufficient quantity (<1 mg). Among the 27 analyzed cases, the mass spectra clearly differentiated between the PDAC and nonneoplastic specimens. Conclusions: This study revealed that PESI-MS could differentiate between PDAC and nonneoplastic specimens, even in cases where EUS-FNA produced very small specimens.
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