A prospective study of the risk of bacteremia in directed cholangioscopic examination of the common bile duct

Gastrointest Endosc. 2016 Jan;83(1):151-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2015.05.018. Epub 2015 Jun 23.


Background and aims: The frequency of bacteremia during ERCP with cholangioscopy has not been well studied. There are no formal guidelines regarding antibiotic prophylaxis before ERCP with cholangioscopy. The aim was to estimate the frequency of bacteremia and subsequent infectious adverse events after ERCP with cholangioscopy.

Methods: This prospective nonrandomized study performed in a single tertiary referral center included adult patients who were undergoing ERCP with cholangioscopic examination of the common bile duct. Blood cultures were drawn from patients before the procedure and 5 and 30 minutes after the procedure. Antibiotics were not given before or after the procedure. Patients were followed up after 24 hours and 1 week after the procedure for infectious adverse events. The primary outcome was bacteremia rate, and secondary outcomes were cholangitis rate and adverse events.

Results: Fifty-seven patients were enrolled in the study with 60 procedures performed. The first procedure from each patient was considered in the analysis, and thus we included 57 patients with 57 procedures in this study analysis. Postprocedure bacteremia was seen in 5 of 57 procedures (8.8%; 95% confidence interval, 2.9%-19.3%). Four patients were readmitted with cholangitis (7.0%). Bacteremia was more common in patients who had cholangioscopy with biopsy sampling compared with patients who had cholangioscopy without biopsy sampling (P = .011). Cholangitis was significantly more common in patients with bacteremia than in those patients with a negative blood culture (P = .035).

Conclusion: ERCP with cholangioscopy is associated with a bacteremia rate of 8.8% and a cholangitis rate of 7.0%. Preprocedural antibiotics may be considered before cholangioscopy, especially if tissue acquisition with biopsy sampling is expected. (

Clinical trial registration number: NCT01673269.).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacteremia / epidemiology*
  • Biliary Tract Surgical Procedures*
  • Biopsy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde*
  • Cholangitis / epidemiology*
  • Common Bile Duct / pathology
  • Common Bile Duct / surgery*
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01673269