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, 49 (6), 710-5

Endoscopic Pancreatic Duct Stenting to Treat Pancreatic Ascites


Endoscopic Pancreatic Duct Stenting to Treat Pancreatic Ascites

G A Bracher et al. Gastrointest Endosc.


Background: Management of pancreatic ascites with conservative medical therapy or surgery has met with limited success. Decompression of the pancreatic ductal system through transpapillary stent placement, an alternative strategy, has been reported in only a handful of cases of pancreatic ascites.

Methods: We reviewed all cases from 1994 to 1997 in which patients with pancreatic ascites underwent an endoscopic retrograde pancreatogram documenting pancreatic duct disruption with subsequent placement of a transpapillary pancreatic duct stent. Clinical end points were resolution of ascites and need for surgery.

Results: There were 8 cases of pancreatic ascites in which a 5F or 7F transpapillary pancreatic duct stent was placed as the initial drainage procedure. Pancreatic ascites resolved in 7 of 8 patients (88%) within 6 weeks. Ascites resolved in the eighth patient, a poor candidate for surgery, following placement of a 5 mm expandable metallic pancreatic stent. No infections, alterations in ductal morphology, or other complications related to stent placement were noted. There was no recurrence of pancreatic ascites or duct disruption at a mean follow-up of 14 months.

Conclusions: Our experience doubles the number of reported cases in which transpapillary pancreatic stent placement safely obviated the need for surgical intervention in the setting of pancreatic ascites. This therapeutic endoscopic intervention should be seriously considered in the initial management of patients with pancreatic ascites.

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