Does leaving a main pancreatic duct stent in place reduce the incidence of precut biliary sphincterotomy–associated pancreatitis? A randomized, prospective study

Published:October 22, 2012DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2012.08.022

      Background

      Pancreatitis is the most common major complication of ERCP and precut endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES). Prophylactic pancreatic duct (PD) stent placement has been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP) in high-risk settings.

      Objective

      To determine whether leaving a main PD stent in place after precut ES would reduce the incidence and severity of PEP.

      Design

      Single-center, randomized, prospective study.

      Setting

      Tertiary care ERCP referral center.

      Patients

      Consecutive patients who underwent ERCP with a clear indication for biliary access and standard biliary ES whereby free cannulation of the bile duct was not possible and precut ES was undertaken.

      Interventions

      When free bile duct cannulation for ES was not possible and selective PD cannulation was achieved, a PD stent was placed. Using the PD stent as a guide, we used a needle-knife sphincterotome to perform precut ES. The patients were then randomized to either leaving the PD stent in place for 7 to 10 days (stent group) or immediate removal after the procedure (stent removed group). The remaining patients who did not undergo selective PD cannulation and stent placement were not randomized (no stent group) and had a free-hand needle-knife ES performed.

      Main Outcome Measurements

      Patients were prospectively followed for the development of complications. Standardized criteria were used to diagnose and grade the severity of PEP.

      Results

      A total of 151 patients were enrolled. The groups were similar with regard to patient demographics and patient and procedure risk factors for PEP. The overall incidence of PEP was 13.2% (20/151). It occurred in 4.3% (2/46), 21.3% (10/47), and 13.8% (8/58) of patients in the stent, stent removed, and no stent groups, respectively. The stent group had a significantly lower frequency and severity of PEP compared with the stent removed group (4.3% vs 21.3%; P = .027 for frequency and 0% vs 12.8%; P = .026 for moderate and severe pancreatitis).

      Limitations

      Single center. Randomization scheme not optimal.

      Conclusions

      These data suggest that placing and maintaining a PD stent for needle-knife precut ES reduces the frequency and severity of postprocedure pancreatitis.

      Abbreviations:

      ES (endoscopic sphincterotomy), PD (pancreatic duct), PEP (post-ERCP pancreatitis), SOD (sphincter of Oddi dysfunction)
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