Endoscopic management of adenoma of the major duodenal papilla

Gastrointest Endosc. 2004 Feb;59(2):225-32. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(03)02366-6.


Background: It is well established that adenoma of the major duodenal papilla has a potential for malignant transformation. Standard treatment has been surgical (duodenotomy/local resection, pancreaticoduodenectomy). Endoscopic management is described, but there is no established consensus regarding the approach to papillectomy or the need for surveillance. This study describes endoscopic management and long-term follow-up of papillary tumors by 4 groups of expert pancreaticobiliary endoscopists.

Methods: Consecutive patients with papillary tumors referred to 4 pancreaticobiliary endoscopy centers for evaluation for endoscopic papillectomy were reviewed. For each patient, an extensive questionnaire was completed, which included 19 preoperative and 15 postoperative data points. A total of 103 patients (53 women, 50 men, age range 24-93) who underwent attempted endoscopic resection were included. Of these, 72 had sporadic adenoma, and the remaining patients had familial adenomatous polyposis, including Gardner's variant. Presenting symptoms were jaundice/cholangitis/pain (n=59), pancreatitis (n=18), and bleeding (n=12). Twenty-six patients were asymptomatic.

Results: Endoscopic treatment was successful, long term, in 83 patients (80%) and failed (initial failure or recurrent tumor) in 20 (20%) patients. Success was significantly associated with older age (54.7 [16.6] vs. 46.6 [21.7] years; p=0.08) and smaller lesions (21.1 [8.3] vs. 29.7 [7.2] mm; p<0.0001). Success rate was higher for sporadic lesions compared with genetically determined lesions (63 of 72 [86%] vs. 20 of 31 [67%]; p=0.02). There were 10 initial failures, which was more common for sporadic lesions (7 of 10). The overall success rate for papillectomy was similar in patients who had adjuvant thermal ablation (81%) compared with those who did not (78%). However, recurrence (n=10) was more common in the former group (9 of 10, [90%]; p=0.22). Complications (n=10) included acute pancreatitis (n=5), bleeding (n=2), and late papillary stenosis (n=3). Acute pancreatitis was more common in patients who did not have pancreatic duct stents placed (17% vs. 3.3%). Papillary stenosis was more frequent without short-term pancreatic duct stent placement (15.4% vs. 1.1%), although the difference was not statistically significant, because this complication was infrequent.

Conclusions: Endoscopic treatment of papillary adenoma in selected patients appears to be highly successful. The majority can undergo complete resection after ERCP. In expert hands, complications are infrequent and may be avoided by routine placement of a pancreatic duct stent.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / surgery*
  • Adenomatous Polyps / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ampulla of Vater* / surgery
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome