Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography outcome from a single referral center in Iran

Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2010 Aug;9(4):428-32.


Background: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is the first choice for diagnostic evaluation of the pancreatic and biliary tree and can be accompanied by a high diagnostic sensitivity and a poor therapeutic outcome. In the current study, we described our experiences in the indications, findings, and technical success of ERCP in a sample of the Iranian population admitted to a referral center in Iran.

Methods: In a retrospective review database-based study, 780 patients (393 males and 387 females; mean age 57.5 years) who had undergone diagnostic and therapeutic ERCP with the primary diagnosis of hepatobiliary disorder between 2006 and 2008 at Taleghani Hospital in Tehran were reviewed. The key data were demographic characteristics, clinical information, laboratory parameters, as well as post-ERCP complications.

Results: A history of cholecystectomy was found in about one-third (36.3%) of participants and 80 (10.3%) out of 780 patients had a previous history of biliary stone. A minority (1.4%) of the patients suffered from hepatobiliary carcinomas, and 11 patients had cirrhosis. The most common clinical manifestations in the patients undergoing diagnostic ERCP were icterus (47.3%), weight loss (31.2%), and dark urine (26.9%). Selective biliary cannulation was technically successful in 87.0% of the patients; however, cannulation failed in 13.0%. The most frequent final diagnosis of ERCP was common bile duct stone that was detected in 40.1% of the patients. The ERCP results in 11.0% of the patients were normal. Regarding appropriate treatment, successful stenting was performed in 43 patients (15.2%). Among post-ERCP complications, pancreatitis was the most adverse event with an incidence rate of 3.3%. Other complications including local bleeding, cholangitis and gastrointestinal perforation, rarely occurred. Post-ERCP pancreatitis was reported in 1.8% of men and 3.6% of women (P=0.120). Pancreatitis was more common in women below 70 years than in those who were older than 70 years (3.6% versus 0.5%; OR: 8.216, P=0.015). This might be due to the more functionally active pancreas in younger women than in the older ones. However, other complications were similar in the two age groups.

Conclusions: Based on our experience, ERCP indications, final diagnosis and related complications are comparatively consistent with those reported in other countries. The most common post-ERCP complication is pancreatitis that is more often observed in younger patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / surgery*
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Liver Diseases / epidemiology
  • Liver Diseases / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis / epidemiology
  • Pancreatitis / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult