Background: Due to the challenging nature of the type III sphincter of the Oddi dysfunction (SOD) patient, the suspected low diagnostic yield from endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), the high complication rate, and the potential for litigation it is surprising that diagnostic ERCP continues to be performed in this patient population. Aims: The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of significant findings on ERCP alone in patients with disabling abdominal pain of suspected pancreatobiliary origin and no objective findings. Methods: Entry criteria of this study included: (1) ERCP with attempt at visualization of both the biliary tree and pancreatic duct, (2) suspected of having abdominal pain of pancreatobiliary origin, (3) biliary or pancreatic type III by the modified Geenen-Hogan classification, (4) never undergone sphincterotomy, (5) attempted manometry of both sphincters. A total of 265 patients met entry criteria. Results: Significant findings were found in seven patients (2.6 %): choledococoele (1), anomalous pancreatobiliary ductal union (2), mild-moderate chronic pancreatitis (2), and pancreatic duct filling defect suspicious for IPMN (2). Potentially significant in 25 patients (9.4 %) were: equivocal chronic pancreatitis (1), incomplete (4) and complete pancreas divisum (20). SOD was diagnosed in 77.7 %. 11.3 % had undergone a previous diagnostic ERCP. Conclusion: ERCP in this high-risk population requires detailed informed consent, availability of SOM to increase the diagnostic yield, and skills in placing prophylactic pancreatic stents. It is our belief that patients without objective findings of pancreatobiliary disease that would explain their subjective complaints should not undergo diagnostic ERCP.
- Abdominal pain
- Cholangiopancreatography, endoscopic retrograde
- Sphincter of Oddi
- Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction
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