Relapses of biliary acute pancreatitis in patients with previous attack of biliary pancreatitis and gallbladder in situ

P Billi, B Barakat, N D'Imperio, R Pezzilli
Digestive and Liver Disease 2003, 35 (9): 653-5

AIM: To evaluate relapse of acute pancreatitis in patients with biliary pancreatitis in whom coexisting diseases or patient refusal have excluded cholecystectomy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty-seven patients presenting a first episode of biliary acute pancreatitis underwent urgent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES).

RESULTS: ERCP with ES was successful in all but one patient (97.8%) who was then cholecystectomised. Complications related to the endoscopic procedure were reported in five patients (10.6%). During the follow-up period (median time 12 months; range 1-84 months), 10 patients (21%) suffered from biliary complications. Three patients (6.4%), all with lithiasis of the gallbladder, had relapses of acute pancreatitis, two of them within 2 months of the previous episode, and one about a year later after ingestion of a rich meal and alcoholic beverages. The first two were cholecystectomised. Two patients died during the follow-up period from unrelated diseases.

CONCLUSIONS: In subjects who are at high risk for anaesthesia, endoscopic procedures may be utilised.


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