Endoscopic papillary large-balloon dilation following limited sphincterotomy for the removal of refractory bile duct stones: experience of 169 cases in a single Chinese center

Xiao Ming Yang, Bing Hu, Ya Min Pan, Dao Jian Gao, Tian Tian Wang, Jun Wu, Xin Ye
Journal of Digestive Diseases 2013, 14 (3): 125-31

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of endoscopic papillary large-balloon dilation (EPLBD) combined with limited endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST) for the removal of large biliary duct stones (≥10 mm).

METHODS: Data of patients who underwent an attempted removal of large bile duct stones by limited EST followed by EPLBD (≥12 mm in diameter) from April 2006 to October 2011 in our center were reviewed. Clinical characteristics, endoscopic methods and outcomes of the patients were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS: A total of 169 patients with a mean age of 69.3 years (range 19-97 years) underwent 171 procedures. Median stone size and balloon diameter was 15 mm and 13 mm, respectively. Complete stone removal in a single session was achieved in 163 procedures (95.3%) with mechanical lithotripsy (ML) used in 66 (38.6%). Patients with a larger stone size required more frequent use of ML with a comparable success rate (P < 0.01). There were no significant differences between patients with and without periampullary diverticula in stone clearance (97.3% vs 93.8%), ML requirement (36.5% vs 40.2%) and complications (2.7% vs 6.2%) (all P > 0.05). Seven patients had eight procedure-related complications including moderate or mild bleeding (n = 4), minor perforation (n = 1), mild pancreatitis (n = 2) and cholangitis (n = 1).

CONCLUSION: EPLBD following limited EST is an effective and safe approach for the removal of large biliary duct stones, especially for those refractory cases.

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