Open Access Research article

Sequential algorithm analysis to facilitate selective biliary access for difficult biliary cannulation in ERCP: a prospective clinical study

Tae Hoon Lee1*, Soon Oh Hwang1, Hyun Jong Choi2, Yunho Jung1, Sang Woo Cha3, Il-Kwun Chung1, Jong Ho Moon2, Young Deok Cho3, Sang-Heum Park1 and Sun-Joo Kim1

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University School of Medicine, Cheonan Hospital, 23-20 Bongmyung-dong, Cheonan, South Korea

2 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University School of Medicine, Bucheon Hospital, 1174 Jung-dong, Bucheon, South Korea

3 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University School of Medicine, Seoul Hospital, 657 Hannam-dong, Seoul, South Korea

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BMC Gastroenterology 2014, 14:30  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-14-30

Published: 17 February 2014

Abstract

Background

Numerous clinical trials to improve the success rate of biliary access in difficult biliary cannulation (DBC) during ERCP have been reported. However, standard guidelines or sequential protocol analysis according to different methods are limited in place. We planned to investigate a sequential protocol to facilitate selective biliary access for DBC during ERCP.

Methods

This prospective clinical study enrolled 711 patients with naïve papillae at a tertiary referral center. If wire-guided cannulation was deemed to have failed due to the DBC criteria, then according to the cannulation algorithm early precut fistulotomy (EPF; cannulation time > 5 min, papillary contacts > 5 times, or hook-nose-shaped papilla), double-guidewire cannulation (DGC; unintentional pancreatic duct cannulation ≥ 3 times), and precut after placement of a pancreatic stent (PPS; if DGC was difficult or failed) were performed sequentially. The main outcome measurements were the technical success, procedure outcomes, and complications.

Results

Initially, a total of 140 (19.7%) patients with DBC underwent EPF (n = 71) and DGC (n = 69). Then, in DGC group 36 patients switched to PPS due to difficulty criteria. The successful biliary cannulation rate was 97.1% (136/140; 94.4% [67/71] with EPF, 47.8% [33/69] with DGC, and 100% [36/36] with PPS; P < 0.001). The mean successful cannulation time (standard deviation) was 559.4 (412.8) seconds in EPF, 314.8 (65.2) seconds in DGC, and 706.0 (469.4) seconds in PPS (P < 0.05). The DGC group had a relatively low successful cannulation rate (47.8%) but had a shorter cannulation time compared to the other groups due to early switching to the PPS method in difficult or failed DGC. Post-ERCP pancreatitis developed in 14 (10%) patients (9 mild, 1 moderate), which did not differ significantly among the groups (P = 0.870) or compared with the conventional group (P = 0.125).

Conclusions

Based on the sequential protocol analysis, EPF, DGC, and PPS may be safe and feasible for DBC. The use of EPF in selected DBC criteria, DGC in unintentional pancreatic duct cannulations, and PPS in failed or difficult DGC may facilitate successful biliary cannulation.

Keywords:
Difficult biliary cannulation; Precut; Double guidewire cannulation; Pancreatic stent