Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography practice in district general hospitals in North East England: a Northern Regional Endoscopy Group (NREG) study

J R Coll Physicians Edinb. 2011 Jun;41(2):109-13. doi: 10.4997/JRCPE.2011.221.


Aim: Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) is an important tool for the management of pancreato-biliary disease. The aim of this study was to compare the current practice of ERCP in North East England against the key 2004 National Confidential Enquiry Report into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) recommendations and the standards set by the Joint Advisory Group on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (JAG).

Methods: This was a prospective multicentre study involving all hospitals in North East England, coordinated through the Northern Regional Endoscopy Group (NREG).

Results: Fourteen endoscopy units submitted data for 481 ERCPs. Mean dose of midazolam was 3.24 mg (standard deviation 1.35; range 1-8 mg). Coagulation profile results were available on 469 patients (97%). Radiological investigations were documented in 96% of the procedures (463 of 481) prior to ERCP. The most common indication for ERCP was related to choledocholithiasis and its complications. All procedures were performed with a therapeutic intent. A total of 84% of all patients were either American Society of Anesthesiologists grade I or II. The selective biliary cannulation rate was 87.3%. The total completion rate of all procedures was 80.2% (381 of 475) and completion of therapy was 89.5% (425 of 475). The 30-day mortality rate was 2% (ten patients) and procedure-related complications occurred in 5% of patients. There were no deaths directly as a result of ERCP; all deaths were related to underlying medical conditions.

Conclusions: The practice of ERCP in North East England adheres to the key recommendations of the NCEPOD and the standards set by JAG. The rates of complications compare favourably with those reported internationally.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde / adverse effects
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde / mortality
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde / standards*
  • Choledocholithiasis / therapy*
  • Common Bile Duct / diagnostic imaging
  • England
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Hospitals, District
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / classification
  • Male
  • Medical Audit
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Ducts / diagnostic imaging
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Prospective Studies