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Management of patients with biliary sphincter of Oddi disorder without sphincter of Oddi manometry

Evangelos Kalaitzakis12*, Tim Ambrose1, Jane Phillips-Hughes3, Jane Collier1 and Roger W Chapman1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gastroenterology, John Radcliffe Hospital, OX3 9DU Oxford, UK

2 Institute of Internal Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Magtam lab, Vita stråket 12, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, 413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden

3 Department of Radiology, John Radcliffe Hospital, OX3 9DU Oxford, UK

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BMC Gastroenterology 2010, 10:124  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-10-124

Published: 22 October 2010



The paucity of controlled data for the treatment of most biliary sphincter of Oddi disorder (SOD) types and the incomplete response to therapy seen in clinical practice and several trials has generated controversy as to the best course of management of these patients. In this observational study we aimed to assess the outcome of patients with biliary SOD managed without sphincter of Oddi manometry.


Fifty-nine patients with biliary SOD (14% type I, 51% type II, 35% type III) were prospectively enrolled. All patients with a dilated common bile duct were offered endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and sphincterotomy whereas all others were offered medical treatment alone. Patients were followed up for a median of 15 months and were assessed clinically for response to treatment.


At follow-up 15.3% of patients reported complete symptom resolution, 59.3% improvement, 22% unchanged symptoms, and 3.4% deterioration. Fifty-one percent experienced symptom resolution/improvement on medical treatment only, 12% after sphincterotomy, and 10% after both medical treatment/sphincterotomy. Twenty percent experienced at least one recurrence of symptoms after initial response to medical and/or endoscopic treatment. Fifty ERCP procedures were performed in 24 patients with an 18% complication rate (16% post-ERCP pancreatitis). The majority of complications occurred in the first ERCP these patients had. Most complications were mild and treated conservatively. Age, gender, comorbidity, SOD type, dilated common bile duct, presence of intact gallbladder, or opiate use were not related to the effect of treatment at the end of follow-up (p > 0.05 for all).


Patients with biliary SOD may be managed with a combination of endoscopic sphincterotomy (performed in those with dilated common bile duct) and medical therapy without manometry. The results of this approach with regards to symptomatic relief and ERCP complication rate are comparable to those previously published in the literature in cohorts of patients assessed by manometry.