Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in patients with surgically altered anatomy

Shimatani M, et al. Recent advances of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography using balloon assisted endoscopy for pancreaticobiliary diseases in patients with surgically altered anatomy: Therapeutic strategy and management of difficult cases. Dig Endosc. 2021 Sep;33(6):912-923.

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Abstract: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is considered to be the gold standard for diagnosis and interventions in biliopancreatic diseases. However, ERCP in patients with surgically altered anatomy (SAA) appears to be more difficult compared to cases with normal anatomy. Since the production of a balloon enteroscope (BE) for small intestine disorders, BE had also been used for biliopancreatic diseases in patients with SAA. Since the development of BE-assisted ERCP, the outcomes of procedures, such as stone extraction or drainage, have been reported as favorable. Recently, an interventional endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), such as EUS-guided biliary drainage (EUS-BD), has been developed and is available mainly for patients with difficult cases of ERCP. It is a good option for patients with SAA. The effectiveness of interventional EUS for patients with SAA has been reported. Both BE-assisted ERCP and interventional EUS have advantages and disadvantages. The choice of procedure should be individualized to the patient’s condition or the expertise of the endoscopists. The aim of this review article is to discuss recent advances in interventional ERCP and EUS for patients with SAA.

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Management of Nonvariceal Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Barkun AN, Almadi M, Kuipers EJ, et al. Management of Nonvariceal Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding: Guideline Recommendations From the International Consensus Group. Ann Intern Med. 2019 Dec 3;171(11):805-822.

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Recommendations: 

Preendoscopic management: The group suggests using a Glasgow Blatchford score of 1 or less to identify patients at very low risk for rebleeding, who may not require hospitalization. In patients without cardiovascular disease, the suggested hemoglobin threshold for blood transfusion is less than 80 g/L, with a higher threshold for those with cardiovascular disease.

Endoscopic management: The group suggests that patients with acute UGIB undergo endoscopy within 24 hours of presentation. Thermocoagulation and sclerosant injection are recommended, and clips are suggested, for endoscopic therapy in patients with high-risk stigmata. Use of TC-325 (hemostatic powder) was suggested as temporizing therapy, but not as sole treatment, in patients with actively bleeding ulcers.

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The timing of surgical intervention in chronic pancreatitis

Issa Y, Kempeneers MA, Bruno MJ, et al. Effect of Early Surgery vs Endoscopy-First Approach on Pain in Patients With Chronic Pancreatitis: The ESCAPE Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2020 Jan 21;323(3):237-247.

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Results: Among 88 patients who were randomized (mean age, 52 years; 21 (24%) women), 85 (97%) completed the trial. During 18 months of follow-up, patients in the early surgery group had a lower Izbicki pain score than patients in the group randomized to receive the endoscopy-first approach group (37 vs 49; between-group difference, -12 points [95% CI, -22 to -2]; P = .02). Complete or partial pain relief at end of follow-up was achieved in 23 of 40 patients (58%) in the early surgery vs 16 of 41 (39%)in the endoscopy-first approach group (P = .10). The total number of interventions was lower in the early surgery group (median, 1 vs 3; P < .001). Treatment complications (27% vs 25%), mortality (0% vs 0%), hospital admissions, pancreatic function, and quality of life were not significantly different between early surgery and the endoscopy-first approach.

Conclusions and relevance: Among patients with chronic pancreatitis, early surgery compared with an endoscopy-first approach resulted in lower pain scores when integrated over 18 months. However, further research is needed to assess persistence of differences over time and to replicate the study findings.

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Article of interest: Endoscopic or Surgical Myotomy in Patients with Idiopathic Achalasia

One discussion this week included a question about the patient outcomes of those undergoing the POEM procedure.


Werner YB, Hakanson B, Martinek J, et al. Endoscopic or Surgical Myotomy in Patients with Idiopathic Achalasia. N Engl J Med. 2019;381(23):2219–2229.

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Results: A total of 221 patients were randomly assigned to undergo either POEM (112 patients) or LHM plus Dor’s fundoplication (109 patients). Clinical success at the 2-year follow-up was observed in 83.0% of patients in the POEM group and 81.7% of patients in the LHM group (difference, 1.4 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], −8.7 to 11.4; P=0.007 for noninferiority). Serious adverse events occurred in 2.7% of patients in the POEM group and 7.3% of patients in the LHM group. Improvement in esophageal function from baseline to 24 months, as assessed by measurement of the integrated relaxation pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter, did not differ significantly between the treatment groups (difference, −0.75 mm Hg; 95% CI, −2.26 to 0.76), nor did improvement in the score on the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (difference, 0.14 points; 95% CI, −4.01 to 4.28). At 3 months, 57% of patients in the POEM group and 20% of patients in the LHM group had reflux esophagitis, as assessed by endoscopy; at 24 months, the corresponding percentages were 44% and 29%.

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