During the last 2 decades, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) has been widely used for the diagnosis of periampullary tumors and the preoperative or definitive treatment of jaundice.
A joint team from the Catholic University School of Medicine and the Libera Universita Campus Biomedico, in Rome, Italy has now conducted a retrospective analysis of 319 consecutive patients.
The research group analyzed data on 184 men and 135 women (mean age 66.5 years) who had undergone ERCP for periampullary tumors between 1987 and 1999.
|ERCP: a safe method for internal biliary drainage|
The study found that endoscopic internal biliary drainage was successful in 293 patients (92%), with some differences due to the origin of the tumor.
Complications occurred in five cases (1.5%). These included four cases of bleeding and one incidence of retroduodenal perforation. There were no deaths related to the endoscopic drainage.
Within the study population 84 patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy. The post-operative morbidity rate was 23%, and the overall mortality rate was 4.8%.
The report, published in the journal Surgical Endoscopy concludes that ERCP remains a valid technique for the detailed pre-operative assessment of periampullary tumors, and is also a safe method for internal biliary drainage.