Background & Aims: Pancreatic stenting is an effective method to prevent post - endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) pancreatitis in high-risk patients. This retrospective study evaluated the impact of modified stent characteristics on the rate of post-ERCP pancreatitis, spontaneous stent dislodgment, and stent-related sequelae. Methods: A total of 2283 patients underwent 2447 ERCPs over a 6-year period with placement of 3-4F diameter, unflanged pancreatic stents. The indication for stenting was pancreatitis prophylaxis predominantly in suspected sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (SOD), pancreas divisum therapy, and precut sphincterotomy. An abdominal radiograph was obtained 10-14 days later to assess spontaneous stent passage. Post-ERCP pancreatitis was defined according to established criteria. A total of 479 patients underwent repeat ERCPs after an initial ERCP with pancreatic stent placement. The prestenting pancreatogram was then compared with follow-up studies. Results: The pancreatitis rate with 3F, 4F, 5F, and 6F stents was 7.5%, 10.6%, 9.8%, and 14.6%, respectively (3F vs. 4F, 5F, 6F: P = 0.047). Spontaneous stent dislodgment was 86%, 73%, 67%, and 65%, respectively (3F vs. 4F, 5F, 6F: P < 0.0001). The frequency of ductal changes was 24% in patients with 3-4F stents compared with 80% with 5-6F stents. Ductal perforation from the stents occurred in 3 patients (0.1%). Conclusions: Small diameter (3-4F), unflanged pancreatic stents are more effective than the traditionally used stents (5-6F) in preventing post-ERCP pancreatitis. Stent-induced ductal changes and the need for endoscopic removal are also significantly less with 3-4F stents. The 3F stent appears to be superior in all aspects studied. Additional studies are needed to define the ideal method to eliminate post-ERCP pancreatitis.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
- Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction
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