Article

Endoscopic treatment of acute biliary pancreatitis in pregnancy.

XXI Internal Medicine Department, Cardarelli Hospital, Napoli, Italy.
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 3.19). 05/1994; 18(3):250-2. DOI: 10.1097/00004836-199404000-00022
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: To report the safety of continued use of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) during pregnancy at various maternal ages.
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    ABSTRACT: Gallstone diseases are common during pregnancy. In most cases, patients are asymptomatic and do not require any treatment. However, choledocholithiasis, cholangitis, and gallstone pancreatitis may potentially become life-threatening for both mother and fetus and often require urgent intervention. Although endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) has become the standard technique for removing common bile duct stones, it is associated with ionizing radiation that could carry teratogenic risk. Non-radiation ERCP (NR-ERCP) is reported to be effective without incurring this risk. Two techniques have been described to confirm bile duct cannulation: bile aspiration and image guidance. With bile aspiration, biliary cannulation is confirmed by applying suction to the cannula to yield bile, thus confirming an intrabiliary position. Image guidance involves using ultrasound or direct visualization (choledochoscopy) to confirm selective biliary cannulation or duct clearance. Once cannulation is achieved, the stones are removed using standard ERCP techniques and tools. Case series and retrospective studies have reported success rates of up to 90% for NR-ERCP with complication rates similar to standard ERCP. Pregnancy outcomes are not adversely affected by NR-ERCP, but whether the avoidance of radiation carries benefit for the baby is unknown. Prospective comparative trials are lacking. NR-ERCP is technically demanding and should be attempted only by skilled biliary endoscopists in properly equipped and staffed health-care institutions, in a multidisciplinary setting.
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    ABSTRACT: Biliary disease in pregnancy is a relatively uncommon condition; the diagnosis of this condition is not standardized. Furthermore, the use of radiographic imaging studies and therapeutic approaches in pregnancy is limited because of the possibility of fetal exposure.Study designDuring a 2-year interval of 2001 to 2002, we successfully performed endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) studies in 6 pregnant women between 6 and 30 weeks of gestation with symptomatic acute cholangitis or pancreatitis without irradiation exposure or major maternal complications. Five of the women had classic symptoms of severe right upper quadrant abdominal pain, gallbladder stones, jaundice, and dilated bile ducts on ultrasonic evaluation. One woman had severe recurrent pancreatitis during early pregnancy 4 years after a cholecystectomy. The cases are compiled to provide a descriptive review of ERCP without the use of radiation imaging treatment for these conditions.ResultsMaternal outcome: After ERCP, jaundice resolved in all cases. No further episodes of pancreatitis occurred during the 1 affected pregnancy. No post-ERCP complications occurred during this series. Two patients required cholecystectomy later, one in the postpartum period and the other 5 weeks post-ERCP. Fetal outcome: Two infants were born at term without complications. Two infants were born prematurely at 35 weeks, 1 with significant growth retardation and pulmonary complications and 1 without developmental problems or complications. Two mothers were lost to follow-up; the outcomes of their pregnancies are unknown.Conclusion The use of ERCP in pregnancy is limited because of the undesirable effects of radiation exposure to the fetus.
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