In this study, an internationally-based team collected long term follow-up data from a large patient cohort in 8 different centers.
The patients assessed had painful chronic pancreatitis with ductal obstruction, due to either strictures and/or stones.
They were treated endoscopically and then underwent follow-up between 2 and 12 years later.
Additionally, the patients' clinical data, the rate of technical success, and complications were recorded from the charts.
The team obtained follow-up data using questionnaires.
| Long-term success of endotherapy = 86%.|
Researchers considered the treatment to be a success if patients experienced a significant reduction in pain.
Follow-up data were obtained from 1018 of the 1211 patients treated with strictures (47%), stones (18%), or strictures and stones (32%).
At the time the follow-up occurred, 60% of the patients had completed endotherapy, 16% were still receiving some form of endoscopic treatment, and 24% had undergone surgery.
The team discovered that, within the entire study group, the long-term success of endotherapy was 86%. However, this figure was only 65% in an intention-to-treat analysis.
There were no significant differences between the patient groups with regard to either strictures, stones, or both.
Also, pancreatic function was not positively affected by endoscopic therapy.
To conclude, Dr T. Rösch's team said, "Endoscopic ductal decompression therapy offers relief of pain in two-thirds of the patients when it is used as the only form of treatment".