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    ABSTRACT: Acute pancreatitis remains the most common complication of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). It is reported to occur in 2-10% of unselected patient samples and up to 40% of high-risk patients. The purpose of this article is to review the evidence behind the known risk factors for post-ERCP pancreatitis, as well as the technical and medical approaches developed to prevent it. There have been many advances in identifying the causes of this condition. Based on this knowledge, a variety of preventive strategies have been developed and studied. The approach to prevention begins with careful patient selection and performing ERCP for specific indications, while considering alternative diagnostic modalities when appropriate. Patients should also be classified by high-risk factors such as young age, female sex, suspected sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, a history of post-ERCP pancreatitis, and normal serum bilirubin, all of which have been identified in numerous research studies. The pathways of injury that are believed to cause post-ERCP pancreatitis eventually lead to the common endpoint of inflammation, and these individual steps can be targeted for preventive therapies through procedural techniques and medical management. This includes the use of a guide wire for cannulation, minimizing the number of cannulation attempts, avoiding contrast injections or trauma to the pancreatic duct, and placement of a temporary pancreatic duct stent in high-risk patients. Administration of rectal non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) in high-risk patients is the proven pharmacological measure for prevention of post-ERCP pancreatitis. The evidence for or against numerous other attempted therapies is still unclear, and ongoing investigation is required. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press and the Digestive Science Publishing Co. Limited.
    11/2014; 3(1). DOI:10.1093/gastro/gou083
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    ABSTRACT: Background/Aims: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is considered a high-risk procedure in patients with previous acute coronary syndrome (ACS); however, clinical studies are rare in the literature. The aim of this study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of ERCP in patients with previous ACS. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients with previous ACS who underwent ERCP between January 2007 and August 2012. The clinical characteristics, ERCP diagnoses, treatment results, and complications were analyzed. Results: Fifty patients underwent ERCP an average of 41.6 months after ACS. The most common indication for ERCP was calculous cholangitis. After deep biliary cannulation, endoscopic sphincterotomy, biliary stone removal and endoscopic biliary drainage were successfully performed. Immediate postsphincterotomy bleeding occurred in seven patients, which was successfully controlled using endoscopic therapy. Elevation of cardiac troponin I levels were observed in three patients (6%) before ERCP, and all of these patients were diagnosed with pancreatobiliary disease combined with recurrent ACS, which was treated with coronary artery stent insertion (n=2) and balloon angioplasty (n=1). Conclusions: Therapeutic ERCP is effective and safe in patients with previous ACS. Cardiac troponin I elevation should be considered a warning sign for recurrent ACS in patients who undergo ERCP.
    Gut and liver 11/2014; 8(6):674-9. DOI:10.5009/gnl13301 · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the practical applicability of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy guidelines in suspected cases of choledocholithiasis. This was a retrospective single center study, covering a 4-year period, from January 2010 to December 2013. All patients who underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for suspected choledocholithiasis were included. Based on the presence or absence of predictors of choledocholithiasis (clinical ascending cholangitis, common bile duct (CBD) stones on ultrasonography (US), total bilirubin > 4 mg/dL, dilated CBD on US, total bilirubin 1.8-4 mg/dL, abnormal liver function test, age > 55 years and gallstone pancreatitis), patients were stratified in low, intermediate or high risk for choledocholithiasis. For each predictor and risk group we used the χ(2) to evaluate the statistical associations with the presence of choledocolithiasis at ERCP. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 21.0. A P value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. A total of 268 ERCPs were performed for suspected choledocholithiasis. Except for gallstone pancreatitis (P = 0.063), all other predictors of choledocholitiasis (clinical ascending cholangitis, P = 0.001; CBD stones on US, P ≤ 0.001; total bilirubin > 4 mg/dL, P = 0.035; total bilirubin 1.8-4 mg/dL, P = 0.001; dilated CBD on US, P ≤ 0.001; abnormal liver function test, P = 0.012; age > 55 years, P = 0.002) showed a statistically significant association with the presence of choledocholithiasis at ERCP. Approximately four fifths of patients in the high risk group (79.8%, 154/193 patients) had confirmed choledocholithiasis on ERCP, vs 34.2% (25/73 patients) and 0 (0/2 patients) in the intermediate and low risk groups, respectively. The definition of "high risk group" had a sensitivity of 86%, positive predictive value 79.8% and specificity 56.2% for the presence of choledocholithiasis at ERCP. The guidelines should be considered to optimize patients' selection for ERCP. For high risk patients specificity is still low, meaning that some patients perform ERCP unnecessarily.