Background: The role of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) in gastric cardia cancer should be further evaluated because the accuracy of EUS depends on tumor location. We aimed to identify a specific role of EUS for therapeutic decision-making in patients with gastric cardia cancer. Methods: Initial EUS examinations for treatment-naïve gastric cancer that were followed by endoscopic resection or surgery were included in the study. Lesions were classified as cardiac and non-cardiac cancer according to tumor location. The diagnostic performance of EUS in predicting invasion depth was compared between the two groups. Results: The overall accuracy of EUS in predicting invasion depth did not differ between the cardiac and non-cardiac cancer groups (44.4 vs. 52.3 %, P = 0.259). The underestimation rate was higher in the cardiac cancer group than in the non-cardiac cancer group (37.0 vs. 18.5 %, P = 0.001). When the depth of invasion was predicted to be deeper than the mucosa (submucosal or deeper) by EUS, the positive predictive value was 82.1 [95 % confidence interval (CI), 66.5–92.5 %] and 62.9 % (95 % CI, 60.5–66.9 %) in the cardiac and non-cardiac cancer groups, respectively (P = 0.015). In multivariable analysis, tumor location in the cardia was found to be an independent factor for the underestimation of invasion depth [odds ratio (95 % CI) = 2.242 (1.156–4.349)]. Conclusions: The underestimation rate in predicting invasion depth was significantly higher for cardiac cancers than for non-cardiac cancers. Therefore, selection of the treatment method for gastric cardia cancer via EUS should be done carefully.
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