Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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Tests and procedures used to diagnose ampullary cancer include:

  • Passing a thin, flexible scope down your throat. Endoscopy is a procedure to examine your digestive system with a long, thin tube (endoscope) equipped with a tiny camera. The endoscope is passed down your throat, through your stomach and into your small intestine to view the ampulla of Vater.

    Special surgical tools can be passed through the endoscope to collect a sample of suspicious tissue.

    Endoscopy can also be used to create images. For instance, endoscopic ultrasound may help capture images of ampullary cancer.

    Doctors also may inject a dye into your bile duct using endoscopy in a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. The dye shows up on X-rays and can show blockages in your bile duct or pancreatic duct.

  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests may help your doctor understand more about your cancer and determine whether it has spread beyond the ampulla of Vater. Imaging tests may include endscopic ultrasound, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, magnetic resonance cholagniopancreatography and computerized tomography.
  • Testing cancer cells in the laboratory. A sample of cancer cells removed during endoscopy or surgery can be analyzed in the lab to look for characteristics that might guide treatment.
Mar. 21, 2014