Complications of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and their risk factors

Kostrzewska, M.; Baniukiewicz, A.; Wroblewski, E.; Laszewicz, W.; Swidnicka-Siergiejko, A.; Piotrowska-Staworko, G.; Dlugosz, J. W.; Dabrowski, A.
June 2011
Advances in Medical Sciences (De Gruyter Open);2011, Vol. 56 Issue 1, p6
Academic Journal
Purpose: Determination of the type and frequency of complications developing after diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) as well as the risk factors predisposing to them.Material/Methods: The retrospective study, including 734 ERCP performed in 550 patients, with 404 (55%) ES (endoscopic sphincterotomy) during a 4-year period.Results: Among 734 ERCP procedures, 76.4% (561) had both diagnostic and therapeutic purpose, 15.2% (112) were only diagnostic. Complications developed after 26 procedures (3.5%): acute pancreatitis (AP) in 8 patients (1.09%), cholangitis in 7 (0.95%) and delayed bleeding in 11 (1.5%) patients. After 49 (6.7%) ES immediate bleeding was observed. The risk factors for AP were: unintentional pancreatic duct contrasting, mechanical lithotripsy, the use of the "pre-cut" technique and bile duct dilatation. Cholangitis was more common in cases with difficult cannulation at older age and with lower baseline bilirubin level. The risk factors for delayed bleeding were: location of the ampulla of Vater in the diverticulum and the use of the "precut" technique. Immediate bleeding was more frequent after revision of bile ducts with Dormia's basket or with balloon, after introduction of contrast medium to the pancreatic duct or in ductal cholelithiasis.Conclusions: ERCP performed in the endoscopy unit of a specialist hospital department is a relatively safe procedure, with a low burden of complications as compared to the benefits it provides to appropriately qualified patients.


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