Endoscopic management and clinical outcomes of obstructive jaundice

Bladder Cancer

Niger Postgrad Med J. 2020 Oct-Dec;27(4):302-310. doi: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_242_20.


BACKGROUND: This study aimed at evaluating the endoscopic management and clinical outcomes in patients with obstructive jaundice undergoing Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) within a newly established apprenticeship teaching model at an academic centre in a resource-limited setting.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We employed an apprenticeship-style model of ERCP training with graded responsibility, multidisciplinary group feedback and short-interval repetition. We collected sociodemographic and clinicopathologic data on consecutive patients who underwent ERCP from March 2018 to February 2020.

RESULTS: A total of 177 patients were referred, of which 146 patients had an ERCP performed for obstructive jaundice and 31 excluded during the study period. The median age was 55 years, age range from 8 to 83 years. The most common referral diagnosis was pancreatic head cancer 56/146 (38.1%), followed by choledocholithiasis 29/146 (19.7%), cholangiocarcinoma 22/146 (15.0%) and gall bladder cancer 11/146 (7.5%). In all, 102 patients had a malignant indication for ERCP. The cannulation rate was 92%. The most common site for malignant biliary obstruction was proximal bile stricture in 31/102 (30.4%), followed by distal bile strictures in 30/102 (28.4%), periampullary cancer 20/102 (19.6%) and mid bile duct stricture in 9/102 (8.8%). The common benign obstructive etiology includes choledocholithiasis in 33/44 (75%) and mid duct obstruction from post-cholecystectomy bile duct injury in 3/44 (2.9%) while 2/44 (2.0%) patients had choledochal cyst. Overall complications were post-ERCP pancreatitis (8/146 patients), cholangitis (3/146 patients), stent migration and post-sphincterotomy bleeding (one patient each). Peri-procedural mortality was 5/146 (3.4%).

CONCLUSION: ERCP is an effective and safe method of treatment of patients with benign and malignant biliary obstruction. The low morbidity and mortality and its immediate therapeutic benefits, together with the short duration of hospitalization, indicate that this procedure is an important asset in the management of such patients.