Cholangioscopy Is Safe and Feasible in Elderly Patients

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Aug;16(8):1293-1299.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2018.02.032. Epub 2018 Mar 2.


Background & aims: Although cholangioscopy is widely used during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatiography (ERCP), its safety and feasibility for elderly patients are not well established. We aimed to evaluate the safety and feasibility of cholangioscopy in elderly patients.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study of all ERCPs with single-operator cholangioscopy (SOC) performed at 3 tertiary referral hospitals from March 2012 through October 2015. We collected data on patient demographics, procedure indications, findings, complications, and success rates (complete success was achieved if all intended diagnostic and therapeutic procedures were performed, such as tissue sample collection or complete removal of stones). The cohort was divided into 3 groups: patients younger than 65 years (group 1, n = 178), patients 65-75 years old (group 2, n = 86), and patients older than 75 years (group 3, n = 77). We used 1-way ANOVA, the χ2 test, and the Wilcoxon sum rank test to compare study variables. The primary aim was to assess rates of complications from ERCP with SOC in elderly patients compared with younger patients.

Results: Baseline clinical features were similar among groups, except for a higher prevalence of co-morbidities in group 3. The indication for and findings from ERCP with SOC differed among the groups; stricture or tumor was the most common indication in groups 1 and 3-the most common findings were strictures and masses, respectively. In group 2, choledocholithiasis was the most common indication and finding. The success rate, analyzed in a subset of 209 patients, was 88.5% overall and did not differ significantly among groups. The overall rate of complication was 7.33% with no significant difference among groups (7.30% for group 1, 6.98% for group 2, and 7.79% for group 3) (P < .17).

Conclusions: In a retrospective analysis of ERCPs with SOCs, we found this procedure to be safe for elderly patients (older than 75 years), who had rates of complications and hospital admission similar to those of younger patients.

Keywords: Biliary Disease; Cholangitis; Comparison; Duodenoscope; Old Age; Post-ERCP Pancreatitis; SpyGlass.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / adverse effects*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tertiary Care Centers