Double-guidewire-assisted biliary cannulation: Experiences from a single tertiary referral center

Department of Surgery, University of Turku, PO Box 52, 20521, Turku, Finland.
Surgical Endoscopy (Impact Factor: 3.26). 12/2010; 25(5):1599-602. DOI: 10.1007/s00464-010-1458-3
Source: PubMed


Even in experienced hands, a common problem with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is difficulty reaching a deep biliary cannulation. The most recent alternative method for difficult biliary cannulation is the double-guidewire technique. The current prospective study aimed to clarify the feasibility and safety of the double-guidewire-assisted biliary cannulation at the authors' institution.
All consecutive patients (n=284) admitted for biliary ERCP during 2009 who had unhindered access to a native papilla were included in the study. The application and success rates of the double-guidewire method for deep biliary cannulation and the complications of ERCP procedures using the double-guidewire technique were determined. The overall success rate for biliary cannulation in these cases also was determined, and the times from the first touch to the papilla to deep biliary cannulation and for the entire ERCP procedure were recorded.
The double-guidewire-assisted cannulation technique was applied in 18% (50/284) of ERCPs with a success rate of 66% (33/50). In these 50 cases, the overall success rate for biliary cannulation was 98% (49/50). The median cannulation time was 8 min, and the median duration of the entire ERCP procedure was 20 min. The rate of post-ERCP pancreatitis was 2% (1/50).
The double-guidewire technique is a feasible and safe method for difficult biliary cannulation with low rate of post-ERCP pancreatitis. However, it seems important to proceed to alternative cannulation techniques if the double-guidewire technique appears troublesome.

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