Practice patterns of post-ERCP pancreatitis prophylaxis techniques in the United States: a survey of advanced endoscopists

Published:November 16, 2019DOI:

      Background and Aims

      The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy recommends prophylactic pancreatic duct stent placement (PPS) and rectal nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce the incidence and severity of post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP) in high-risk individuals and suggests that rectal indomethacin may decrease the risk and severity of PEP in average-risk individuals. The European Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy recommends rectal indomethacin for all patients undergoing ERCP. Previous surveys of European endoscopists revealed low adoption of PPS or rectal NSAIDs to prevent PEP. We sought to capture current practice in the prevention of PEP among endoscopists in the United States involved in advanced endoscopy fellowship programs.


      An anonymous online 16-item survey was e-mailed to 233 advanced endoscopists involved in advanced endoscopy fellowship programs.


      Of the 233 endoscopists who were invited to participate, 62 responded (26.7%). Most respondents reported working in tertiary referral centers (57; 95.0%) and performing ERCP for greater than 5 years (44; 74.6%). All respondents (60; 100.0%) reported working with fellows. Most PPS users (41; 72.0%) reported use of PPS in high-risk patients only and using PPS for PEP in ≤25% of ERCPs (38; 64.4%). Most respondents reported using rectal NSAIDs for high-risk patients only (34; 59.7%) compared with respondents (23; 40.1%) who reported using rectal NSAIDs for prevention of PEP in average-risk patients undergoing ERCP. Most respondents (49; 83.0%) also reported using rapid intravenous fluids to prevent PEP.


      Among endoscopists involved in advanced endoscopy fellowships in the United States, rectal NSAIDs are used more frequently than PPS in the prevention of PEP. Despite mounting evidence supporting the use of rectal NSAIDs to prevent PEP in average-risk patients, less than half of the respondents in this survey reported such practice.


      ASGE (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy), NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), PEP (post-ERCP pancreatitis), PPS (prophylactic pancreatic duct stent placement)
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