Purpose: The endoscopic treatment of malignant hilar obstruction is followed in 70% of the case by infection of undrained biliary sectors. We report the influence of complete biliary drainage on post procedural cholangitis.
Method: From January 1990 to January 1993 we treated 120 consecutive patients presenting with a malignant hilar obstruction. There were 61 women and 59 men, mean age 65 +/- 7.5 years. The level of stenosis was type II in 45 patients (37%), type III in 18 patients (13%) and above type III in 57 patients (48%). Complete biliary drainage with multiple biliary access was attempted in all patients. Long term internal drainage was achieved by metallic autoexpansive endoprosthesis.
Results: Complete drainage was achieved in all patients with type II or type III biliary stenosis. Drainage was incomplete in all patients with biliary stenosis above type III. Early complications were observed in 35% of the patients. Persistent cholangitis, the most frequent complication (22%) was only observed in patients with above type III biliary stenosis. Mortality at 30 days was 17%. Recurrent biliary obstruction was observed in 22% of the patients after an average of 187 days. Median survival was 95 days.
Conclusion: Complete biliary drainage prevents persistent cholangitis in patients with type II or III biliary stenosis without increasing other complications related to biliary drainage.