Endoscopic therapy for patients with pancreaticobiliary maljunction: a follow-up study
BACKGROUND Major limitations of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in paediatric populations are a low incidence of biliopancreatic disease among children, the equipment dimensions (size of endoscopes and devices) and the increasing role of MR-cholangiopancreatography in the field of diagnostic indications. Aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic and therapeutic yields of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography for biliopancreatic diseases in a paediatric population. METHODS Between 1996 and 2002, 48 endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographies were performed in 38 children aged 4 weeks to 17 years as part of the diagnostic evaluation for suspected pancreatic or biliary tract disease. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography was carried out under general anaesthesia, using prototype paediatric duodenoscopes or standard duodenoscopes in children younger or older than 18 months, respectively. RESULTS The indications to perform endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography were common bile duct stones (14 children), biliopancreatic abnormalities (8), primary sclerosing cholangitis (2), Wirsung disruption (1), biliary leakage (1), cholestasis (4) and pancreatitis (8). Cannulation was successful in all patients but one. Sphincterotomy together with stone extraction or stent insertion was performed in 30/38 patients. Immediate complications were mild and treated conservatively. CONCLUSIONS Diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography can be used safely and effectively in the management of biliopancreatic diseases in childhood as well. Indications, endoscopic techniques and complications are similar to those reported for adult patients.