Endoscopic ultrasound in India gives accurate result in diagnosing cancers of GI tract, doctors say

A new technology called endoscopy ultrasound (EUS) that is gradually gaining popularity in India provides a more accurate and precise result in diagnosing and treating cancers in the gastrointestinal cavity.

Endoscopic ultrasound in India is a procedure that allows a doctor to obtain images about the digestive tract and the surrounding tissue and organs, including the lungs. Dr Shyam Varadarajalu, senior gastroenterologist, Apollo Hospitals, one of the institutions which use the technology, said ultrasound testing uses sound waves to make a picture of internal organs.

"During the procedure, a small ultrasound device is installed on the tip of an endoscope. By inserting the endoscope and camera into the digestive tract, we can obtain high quality ultrasound images of organs," he said. The images are more detailed than images provided by traditional ultrasound taken from outside of body, he added.

Dr Joy Varghese, a hepatologist at Global Health City which also uses EUS, said that it allows physicians to not only locate the tumour but also helps measure the depth of it. "Usually a surgery is done to measure the size but with EUS that would not be a necessity," he said.

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Doctors say endoscopic ultrasound in India has an accuracy of 95% compared to the 60% accuracy provided by a CT scan. "Apart from diagnosing a tumour, it also enables us to take biopsies immediately and check whether the tumour is malignant or not. It also helps us provide palliation by helping us inject drugs into the areas affected by cancer," said senior gastroenterologist Dr K R Palaniswamy of Apollo. The entire procedure takes within 30 minutes,.

Apollo Hospitals will be hosting an international symposium on EUS in Chennai from Sep 18 to 20 in which doctors from 40 countries would raise awareness about the technique.

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