Endoscopic therapy of the sump syndrome

Endoscopy. 1989 May;21(3):126-30. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1012920.


Seventeen consecutive patients with the sump syndrome were treated at the Middlesex Hospital between November 1983 and December 1987. Fifteen were treated primarily by endoscopic sphincterotomy and two primarily by resective surgery because of coincident severe painful chronic pancreatitis. Endoscopic sump clearance was successful in thirteen out of fifteen cases (87%) with no morbidity or mortality. The two endoscopic failures were managed surgically. Follow-up (mean 18 months; range 2-48 months) has shown complete resolution of symptoms in twelve (71%), with mild or moderate ongoing symptoms in the remaining five. All patients with ongoing symptoms after sump clearance had abnormal retrograde pancreatograms at the time of ERCP. Endoscopic sphincterotomy is the treatment of choice for the sump syndrome, with the possible exception of patients with coincident painful severe chronic pancreatitis, who may require pancreatic resection. Indeed, the sump may be a factor in the development and perpetuation of an obstructive chronic pancreatitis, and a trial of endoscopic clearance may be indicated even in these patients. The sump syndrome should no longer be regarded as a major long-term disadvantage of side-to-side biliary bypass, provided that the condition is considered early in those with compatible symptoms after biliary bypass, and appropriate investigation and treatment is instigated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choledochostomy / adverse effects*
  • Endoscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery*
  • Sphincterotomy, Transduodenal*
  • Syndrome