Endosonography-guided gallbladder drainage versus percutaneous cholecystostomy in very high-risk surgical patients with acute cholecystitis: an international randomised multicentre controlled superiority trial (DRAC 1)

Gut. 2020 Jun;69(6):1085-1091. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2019-319996. Epub 2020 Mar 12.


Objective: The optimal management of acute cholecystitis in patients at very high risk for cholecystectomy is uncertain. The aim of the current study was to compare endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided gallbladder drainage (EUS-GBD) to percutaneous cholecystostomy (PT-GBD) as a definitive treatment in these patients under a randomised controlled trial.

Design: Consecutive patients suffering from acute calculous cholecystitis but were at very high-risk for cholecystectomy were recruited. The primary outcome was the 1-year adverse events rate. Secondary outcomes include technical and clinical success, 30-day adverse events, pain scores, unplanned readmissions, re-interventions and mortalities.

Results: Between August 2014 to February 2018, 80 patients were recruited. EUS-GBD significantly reduced 1 year adverse events (10 (25.6%) vs 31 (77.5%), p<0.001), 30-day adverse events (5 (12.8%) vs 19 (47.5%), p=0.010), re-interventions after 30 days (1/39 (2.6%) vs 12/40 (30%), p=0.001), number of unplanned readmissions (6/39 (15.4%) vs 20/40 (50%), p=0.002) and recurrent cholecystitis (1/39 (2.6%) vs 8/40 (20%), p=0.029). Postprocedural pain scores and analgesic requirements were also less (p=0.034). The technical success (97.4% vs 100%, p=0.494), clinical success (92.3% vs 92.5%, p=1) and 30-day mortality (7.7% vs 10%, p=1) were statistically similar. The predictor to recurrent acute cholecystitis was the performance of PT-GBD (OR (95% CI)=5.63 (1.20-53.90), p=0.027).

Conclusion: EUS-GBD improved outcomes as compared to PT-GBD in those patients that not candidates for cholecystectomy. EUS-GBD should be the procedure of choice provided that the expertise is available after a multi-disciplinary meeting. Further studies are required to determine the long-term efficacy.

Trial registration number: NCT02212717.

Keywords: EUS-guided gallbladder drainage; acute cholecystitis; interventional endoscopic ultrasonography; lumen apposing metal stents; percutaneous cholecystostomy.

Publication types

  • Equivalence Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cholecystitis, Acute / surgery*
  • Cholecystostomy / methods*
  • Drainage / methods*
  • Female
  • Gallbladder / diagnostic imaging
  • Gallbladder / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02212717