Endoscopic stent insertion into the gallbladder for symptomatic gallbladder disease in patients with end-stage liver disease.Gastrointest Endosc. 2005 Jan; 61(1):32-6.GE
Endoscopic stent insertion into the gallbladder entails placement of a double-pigtail polyethylene stent between the gallbladder and the duodenum at ERCP. This procedure may be an effective temporary measure in patients with severe comorbid conditions, especially end-stage liver disease, that subsequently allows more definitive therapy, including liver transplantation.
The records for 29 patients who underwent attempted endoscopic gallbladder stent insertion between May 1999 and May 2004 were reviewed retrospectively.
Mean patient age was 47 years; 86% of the patients were listed for liver transplantation, with a mean model for end-stage liver disease score of 15; 72% had Child's class B cirrhosis. Indications for gallbladder stent placement included recurrent biliary colic (69%), acute cholecystitis (17%), acalculous cholecystitis (7%), and gallstone pancreatitis (7%). Of the 29 patients who underwent ERCP, stent placement was successful in 26 (90%). Median follow-up was 9.4 months (range 0.1-40.5 months). Of those who had a stent placed, 6 (22%) subsequently underwent liver transplantation and another 15 (56%) were alive, most awaiting liver transplantation. Only 3 patients had late a complication or recurrence of biliary symptoms after stent placement.
Endoscopic stent placement in the gallbladder is a safe and an effective palliative treatment for patients with symptoms caused by gallbladder disease who are poor surgical candidates.