Stent placement for benign pancreatic diseases: correlation between ERCP findings and clinical response

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1992 Oct;159(4):751-5. doi: 10.2214/ajr.159.4.1529836.


Objective: We performed a study to determine if the appearance of the pancreatic duct on ERCP before and after placement of pancreatic duct stents correlates with the therapeutic response in patients treated for impaired pancreatic drainage.

Materials and methods: Findings in 29 consecutive patients with a variety of benign pancreatic diseases in whom pancreatic stents were placed and subsequently removed within a 3-year period were reviewed retrospectively. Early (1-5 days) and late (1-3 months) clinical outcomes after stent placement were assessed. These findings were correlated with a blinded interpretation of ERCP findings (Cambridge criteria were used) before and after stent placement.

Results: ERCP findings before stent placement were normal in 10 patients. At the end of stent therapy, ERCP showed changes associated with chronic pancreatitis in all 10; five had focal narrowing at the tip of the stent. Subsequent ERCP studies in five of these 10 patients showed that ductal changes induced by stents diminished after stent removal. Of the 19 patients with abnormal findings on ERCP at the time of stent placement, ERCP at the end of stent therapy showed some improvement in seven patients, no change in eight, and deterioration in four. Changes seen on ERCP had no statistically significant correlation with clinical outcome (p = .36).

Conclusion: Our findings show that pancreatic duct stents can induce abnormalities on ERCP indicative of chronic pancreatitis. However, diminution of these abnormalities after stent removal in some patients suggests that these changes may be due to edema rather than to fibrosis. Ductal changes seen on ERCP are not a useful guide for determining the degree of response to pancreatic stents.

MeSH terms

  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Congenital Abnormalities / therapy
  • Humans
  • Pancreas / abnormalities*
  • Pancreatic Ducts / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatitis / epidemiology
  • Pancreatitis / therapy*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents*
  • Time Factors