Ampulla dilation with different sized balloons to remove common bile duct stones

Neng-Ping Li, Jiang-Qi Liu, Zhi-Qiang Zhou, Tao-Ying Ji, Xiao-Yan Cai, Qing-Yun Zhu
World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 2013 February 14, 19 (6): 903-8

AIM: To assess the outcomes of ampulla dilation with different sized balloons to remove common bile duct (CBD) stones.

METHODS: Patients (n = 208) were divided into five groups based on the largest CBD stone size of < 5, 6-8, 8-12, 12-14, and > 14 mm. Patients underwent limited endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST) alone or limited EST followed by endoscopic papillary balloon dilation with 8, 10, 12 and 14 mm balloons, such that the size of each balloon did not exceed the size of the CBD. Short- and long-term outcomes, such as post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) pancreatitis, perforation, bleeding, and pneumobilia were compared among the five groups.

RESULTS: The overall rate of successful stone removal in all groups was 100%, and all patients were cured. Eight (3.85%) patients had post-ERCP pancreatitis, none had perforations, and 6 (2.9%) had bleeding requiring transfusion. There were no significant differences in early complication rates among the five groups. We observed significant correlations between increased balloon size and the short- and long-term rates of post-ERCP pneumobilia. Post-ERCP pancreatitis and bleeding correlated significantly with age, with post-ERCP pancreatitis occurring more frequently in patients aged < 60 years, and bleeding occurring more frequently in patients aged > 70 years. We observed a significant correlation between patient age and the diameter of the largest CBD stone, with stones > 12 mm occurring more frequently in patients > 60 years old.

CONCLUSION: Choosing a balloon size based on the largest stone diameter is safe and effective for removing CBD stones. Balloon size should not exceed 15 mm.

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