EUS Gets Under the Skin… For A Closer Look
Posted Date: 9/15/2010
Ultrasonography (ultrasound) is a valuable diagnostic tool, and combined
with endoscopy technology, it can mean a very positive treatment option
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) combines ultrasound
technology with endoscopy to better visualize the tissues of the
digestive tract and adjacent anatomical structures inside the human
body. New to Mon General Hospital, this internal vantage point provides more
detailed pictures of the GI tract, including the esophagus, stomach,
small bowel, and colon as well as surrounding tissues and organs.
Faisal A. Bukeirat, MD, at Mon General Hospital, who is
trained in the multidisciplinary field of endosonography, is using this
technology in a variety of applications, including to stage cancers such
as esophageal, gastric, rectal and pancreatic; diagnose diseases of
internal organs; locate common bile duct stones; and evaluate masses in
the submucosal lining of the GI tract or in enlarged stomach folds, to
name a few.
Endoscopic ultrasound is performed using
either a probe, which is passed through the channel of a standard
endoscope, or with an echoendoscope—a special endoscope with the
ultrasound transducer located on its tip. “With the transducer
positioned in close proximity to the target tissue, EUS imagery better
defines the layers of the GI wall as well as the surrounding tissue and
organs,” Dr. Bukeirat said.
“EUS has two primary
advantages over conventional ultrasound and endoscopy,” he said.
“Conventional ultrasound is performed by placing a transducer against
the skin to produce images of internal organs. With EUS, the transducer
is endoscopically inserted into the body via the digestive tract. This
puts the transducer closer to the area of interest to obtain higher
The second advantage of EUS is
that it can literally see through walls, he said. In conventional
endoscopy, the gastroenterologist can only view the innermost lining of
the digestive tract, or its wall. The addition of ultrasound allows the
endoscopist to see beyond those walls to visualize all five layers of
the GI tract as well as surrounding tissue and organs. EUS works by
transmitting high-frequency sound waves which are bounced off the body’s
internal tissues; the echoes are then converted into a computerized
picture called a sonogram.
From a clinical
perspective, this means that an abnormality below the surface of the
digestive tract wall—such as a growth that was detected at a prior
endoscopy or under x-ray or a suspicious mass on an internal organ—can
be further evaluated under EUS, helping doctors better understand its
nature and prescribe the best treatment option.
Because EUS can be used to visualize other organs outside the digestive
tract, endoscopic ultrasound plays an important role in diagnosing
diseases of the pancreas, bile duct, liver, spleen and gallbladder as
well as assessing a variety of cancers.
If you or
anyone you know is suffering symptoms of digestive internal organ
disorders, they may benefit from an endoscopic ultrasound examination.
Dr. Bukeirat can be reached at (304)
598-2700. He specializes in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. His office is located in White Birch Towers, 1311 Pineview Drive, Suite 512
“As a facility that is committed to providing the best care for
our patients, Mon General is proud to introduce this latest technology
and innovation for less invasive and more reliable diagnosis and
treatment,” Dr. Bukeirat said.
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