It is possible and safe to resect gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) endoscopically, confirmed a study published in the International Journal of General Medicine. Endoscopic ultrasonography can help diagnose and assess the risk of GIST, as well as assist in endoscopic resection, the researchers reported.

GISTs can occur anywhere along the digestive tract, and they cause symptoms such as bleeding, abdominal pain, and mass compression. Endoscopic ultrasonography can help in the early diagnosis of GIST, and endoscopic resection allows early treatment. However, endoscopic and surgical treatment of GIST remains controversial.

To explore the clinical value of endoscopic ultrasonography in the endoscopic resection of GISTs, a team of researchers from China led by Dong-Qiang Zhao conducted a retrospective study of 92 patients with confirmed GIST who underwent endoscopic resection following endoscopic ultrasonography.

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They found that the diagnostic rate of endoscopic ultrasonography before surgery and pathological diagnosis of GIST after surgery was 78.7%. In addition, they found that the presence of a nonhomogeneous echo and a liquid anechoic zone in GIST often indicated higher risk. There was also a positive correlation between tumor size and risk.

“The endoscopic resection of GISTs is feasible and safe,” the researchers wrote. They added that the findings of the present study are consistent with those of previous studies.

The limitations include that this was a retrospective study, as opposed to a randomized controlled trial. It also was not blinded, which means there was a risk of bias. There was also a risk of bias when recruiting patients, as it was a single-center study with a small sample size.

GISTs are a rare type of gastrointestinal tumor, with an incidence of around 1.5 per 100,000 people worldwide. Radical and complete surgical resection is the gold-standard treatment. Surgical resection may be performed through endoscopy, laparoscopy, or open incision.


Mi JW, Wang JQ, Liu J, Zhang LX, Du HW, Zhao DQ. The value of endoscopic ultrasonography in the endoscopic resection of gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Int J Gen Med. 2021;14:5149-5157. doi:10.2147/IJGM.S319762