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December 12, 1977

Ultrasonic Sounds and Pancreatic Carcinoma-Reply

JAMA. 1977;238(24):2599. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280250024009

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In Reply.—  The intent of our study was to show that diagnosis of pancreatic carcinoma by ultrasonic scanning, like all other diagnostic techniques reported, has no effect on survival. However, ultrasonic scanning was remarkably reliable (abnormal in 24 of 28 patients) in providing a diagnosis. Ultrasonic scanning is considered to be safe, simple, and quite worthwhile. It continues to be the initial study of choice in our institution for patients suspected of having pancreatic cancer, before resorting to computerized tomographic (CT) scanning.Although it may not yet be proved that CT scanning will be more sensitive than ultrasonic scanning in diagnosing pancreatic malignant neoplasms, this is very likely to occur. However, it is somewhat less certain that CT scanning will be able to alter the survival of these patients any more than any other presently available technology. It also remains to be seen whether new programs of chemotherapy and radiotherapy