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Training endosonographers in cytopathology: improving the results of EUS-guided FNA

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
DOI: 10.1016/j.gie.2014.07.026
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Background Although on-site cytopathology services have a significant impact on efficiency and accuracy of EUS-guided FNA (EUS-FNA), the availability of this service is variable. Objective To evaluate the impact of an intensive 2-day training program to educate endosonographers in EUS-related cytopathology. Design Pilot study. Setting Tertiary care medical center. Subjects Six endosonographers (5 male, median age, 35 years) with minimal previous cytopathology exposure comprised the study cohort. Methods Pre- and posttraining testing was administered. Training commenced with a cytopathology tutorial focusing on 4 performance measures: specimen adequacy, sample interpretation, specimen processing, and preliminary diagnosis. Eight live EUS-FNA cases were then performed, and study participants independently completed 4 questions based on performance measures for each case. The ability to independently smear and stain slides and operate a microscope was additionally assessed after a hands-on tutorial. Main Outcome Measurements Comparison of pretraining and posttraining scores, improvement in performance measures for live cases, and ability to independently handle specimens and operate a microscope. Results Compared with pretraining, mean posttraining test scores improved by 63% from 48 to 78 out of 100. Mean live case performance score was 95%. Performances improved from 89% on day 1 to 100% on day 2. After training, all endosonographers could independently smear/stain slides and operate a microscope. Limitations Long-term impact is unclear. Conclusions An intensive 2-day program was effective in training endosonographers in the basics of EUS-related cytopathology. Incorporating basic cytopathology in EUS fellowship curriculum will likely improve diagnostic performance of tissue acquisition procedures.

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