Background: An increasing proportion of the general population across the Western World now survives to an advanced age. However, there is limited data on the outcome of therapeutic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in patients above 90 years of age with severe acute cholangitis.
Aim: To determine the relative frequency of postendoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography complication in this group of patients.
Methods: The postendoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography complications related outcome of 64 patients aged 90 years and above (Group 1) with severe acute cholangitis were retrospectively compared with 165 patients under the age of 90 years (Group 2).
Results: The postendoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography complication rate was 4.7% (three patients) in Group 1 and 7.3% (12 patients) in Group 2. There was no significant difference in the postendoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography complication rate between the two groups (P = 0.567). The relative frequency of 30-day mortality was 7.8% (five patients) in Group 1 and 4.2% (seven patients) in Group 2 (P = 0.227).
Conclusion: Urgent biliary decompression with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in patients 90 years of age and older with severe acute cholangitis is a safe and effective procedure in the hands of highly skilled endoscopists and is not associated with increased morbidity or mortality even in this group of high risk patients.