Systematic review and meta-analysis of intraoperative versus preoperative endoscopic sphincterotomy in patients with gallbladder and suspected common bile duct stones

K Gurusamy, S J Sahay, A K Burroughs, B R Davidson
British Journal of Surgery 2011, 98 (7): 908-16

BACKGROUND: Most patients with gallbladder and common bile duct stones are treated by preoperative endoscopic sphincterotomy (POES) followed by laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Recently, intraoperative endoscopic sphincterotomy (IOES) during laparoscopic cholecystectomy has been suggested as an alternative treatment.

METHODS: Data from randomized clinical trials related to safety and effectiveness of IOES versus POES were extracted by two independent reviewers. Risk ratios (RRs) or mean differences were calculated with 95 per cent confidence intervals based on intention-to-treat analysis whenever possible.

RESULTS: Four trials with 532 patients comparing IOES with POES were included. There were no deaths. There was no significant difference in rates of ampullary cannulation (RR 1·01, 0·97 to 1·04; P = 0·70) or stone clearance by ES (RR 0·99, 0·96 to 1·02; P = 0·58) between the groups. The proportion of patients with at least one post-ES complication, including pancreatitis, bleeding, perforation, cholangitis, cholecystitis or gastric ulcer, was significantly lower in the IOES group (RR 0·37, 0·18 to 0·78; P = 0·009). There was no significant difference in morbidity after laparoscopic cholecystectomy or requirement for open operation between the groups. Mean hospital stay was 3 days shorter in the IOES group: mean difference - 2·83 (-3·66 to - 2·00) days (P < 0·001).

CONCLUSION: In patients with gallbladder and common bile duct stones, IOES is as effective and safe as POES and results in a significantly shorter hospital stay.

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