Efficacy and safety of ERCP in patients with situs inversus totalis: multicenter case series and literature review

BMC Gastroenterol. 2022 Nov 30;22(1):497. doi: 10.1186/s12876-022-02593-3.


Background: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in patients with situs inversus totalis (SIT) is rarely understood due to its rarity. Patient position and endoscope manipulation were the main concerns in published case reports. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of ERCP in SIT patients.

Methods: Patients with SIT who underwent ERCP were enrolled in nine endoscopic centers in China. ERCP procedural details and complications in SIT patients were retrieved from electronic medical record. The data was retrospectively analyzed.

Results: From 2011 to 2021, totally 14 patients with SIT undergoing ERCP were identified. The mean age was 56.8 years old and the male-female ratio was 5:2. The main indication for ERCP was common bile duct stones (13/14, 92.9%). All procedure were performed by experienced endoscopists. 21.4% (3/14) of patients were under regular position (prone), while 78.6% under modified position (supine, left or right lateral). Difficult cannulation was occurred in 71.4% (10/14) of patients. The rate of successful cannulation was 85.7% (12/14). Complication occurred in 3 patients (3/14, 21.4%), including 1 bleeding, 1 pneumonia and 1 acute myocardial infarction. No post-pancreatitis or death happened. Compared to patients in modified position, those in prone position had numerically less successful cannulations (66.7% vs. 90.9%) and higher adverse events (33.3% vs. 18.2%).

Conclusions: ERCP in patient with SIT is challenging even for experienced endoscopists, modified patient positions might have potential benefits concerning more successful cannulations and less complications. More case experiences are need for comprehensive understanding of ERCP in patients with SIT.

Keywords: Cannulation; Complication; ERCP; Patient position; Situs inversus totalis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Gallstones*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Pancreatitis* / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Situs Inversus* / complications