Endoscopic ultrasound-guided drainage of pancreatic fluid collections

Carlo Fabbri, Carmelo Luigiano, Antonella Maimone, Anna Maria Polifemo, Ilaria Tarantino, Vincenzo Cennamo
World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 2012 November 16, 4 (11): 479-88
Pancreatic fluid collections (PFCs) develop secondary to either fluid leakage or liquefaction of pancreatic necrosis following acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, surgery or abdominal trauma. Pancreatic fluid collections include acute fluid collections, acute and chronic pancreatic pseudocysts, pancreatic abscesses and pancreatic necrosis. Before the introduction of linear endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) in the 1990s and the subsequent development of endoscopic ultrasound-guided drainage (EUS-GD) procedures, the available options for drainage in symptomatic PFCs included surgical drainage, percutaneous drainage using radiological guidance and conventional endoscopic transmural drainage. In recent years, it has gradually been recognized that, due to its lower morbidity rate compared to the surgical and percutaneous approaches, endoscopic treatment may be the preferred first-line approach for managing symptomatic PFCs. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided drainage has the following advantages, when compared to other alternatives such as surgical, percutaneous and non-EUS-guided endoscopic drainage. EUS-GD is less invasive than surgery and therefore does not require general anesthesia. The morbidity rate is lower, recovery is faster and the costs are lower. EUS-GD can avoid local complications related to percutaneous drainage. Because the endoscope is placed adjacent to the fluid collection, it can have direct access to the fluid cavity, unlike percutaneous drainage which traverses the abdominal wall. Complications such as bleeding, inadvertent puncture of adjacent viscera, secondary infection and prolonged periods of drainage with resultant pancreatico-cutaneous fistulae may be avoided. The only difference between EUS and non-EUS drainage is the initial step, namely, gaining access to the pancreatic fluid collection. All the subsequent steps are similar, i.e., insertion of guide-wires with fluoroscopic guidance, balloon dilatation of the cystogastrostomy and insertion of transmural stents or nasocystic catheters. With the introduction of the EUS-scope equipped with a large operative channel which permits drainage of the PFCs in "one step", EUS-GD has been increasingly carried out in many tertiary care centers and has expanded the safety and efficacy of this modality, allowing access to and drainage of overly challenging fluid collections. However, the nature of the PFCs determines the outcome of this procedure. The technique and review of current literature regarding EUS-GD of PFCs will be discussed.

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