Pancreatitis is the most common and potentially serious complication of post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP) is caused mostly by postprocedural papillary edema and retention of pancreatic juice. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine whether placement of a temporary-type, pancreatic duct stent prevents PEP and to identify risk factors for PEP.
We analyzed data from 426 consecutive patients who underwent ERCP-related procedures at 37 endoscopic units. The patients were assigned randomly to groups that received stents (S group, n = 213) or did not (nS group, n = 213). The stent used was temporary, 5F in diameter, 3 cm long, and straight with an unflanged inner end.
The overall frequency of PEP was 11.3%. The frequencies of PEP in the S and nS groups were 7.9% and 15.2%, respectively; the lower incidence of PEP in the S group was statistically significant based on the full analysis set (P = .021), although there was no statistically significant differences in an intention-to-treat analysis (P = .076). There were significant differences in PEP incidence between groups in multivariate analysis for the following risk factors: pancreatography first, nonplacement of a pancreatic duct stent after ERCP, procedure time of 30 minutes or more, sampling of pancreatic tissue by any method, intraductal ultrasonography, and difficulty of cannulation (≥15 min). Patients with more than 3 risk factors had a significantly greater incidence of pancreatitis.
Placement of a pancreatic duct stent reduces the incidence of PEP. Several risk factors are associated with PEP.