Background: Robust data in favour of a clear superiority of 22 versus 25 Gauge needles for endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration are still lacking. Objective: We aimed to compare the diagnostic sensitivity, specificity and safety of these two needles for endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration of solid pancreatic lesions. Methods: A computerized bibliographic search was restricted to randomized controlled trials only. Pooled effects were calculated using a random-effects model and expressed in terms of risk ratio and 95% confidence interval. Results: We analysed seven trials with 689 patients and 732 lesions (295 sampled with 22 Gauge needle, 309 with 25 Gauge needle, and 128 with both needles). A non-significant superiority of 25 Gauge in terms of pooled sensitivity (risk ratio: 0.93, 0.91–0.95 versus 0.89, 0.85–0.94 of 22 Gauge needle; p = 0.13) and no difference in terms of specificity (1.00, 0.98–1.00 in both groups; p = 0.85) were observed. Sample adequacy was similar between the two devices (risk ratio: 1.03, 0.99–1.06; p = 0.15). Very few adverse events were observed and did not impact on patient outcomes. Conclusion: Our meta-analysis reveals non-superiority of 25 Gauge over 22 Gauge; hence no definitive recommendations over the use of one particular device can be made.
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