Does endoscopic ultrasound-guided biliary drainage really have clinical impact?

Takeshi Ogura, Kazuhide Higuchi
World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 2015 January 28, 21 (4): 1049-52
The well established, gold standard method for treatment of obstructive jaundice involves biliary drainage under endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) performed by pancreatobiliary endoscopists. Recently, interventions using endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) have been developed not only for obtaining cytological and histological diagnosis, but also for biliary drainage as alternative method. EUS-guided biliary drainage (EUS-BD) was first reported by Giovannini et al. EUS-BD broadly includes EUS-guided rendezvous technique, EUS-guided choledochoduodenostomy, and EUS-guided hepaticogastrostomy. More recently, EUS-guided antegrade stenting and EUS-guided gallbladder drainage have also been reported. many case reports, series, and retrospective studies on EUS-BD have been reported. However, because prospective studies and comparisons between the different biliary drainage methods have not been reported, the technical success, functional success, adverse events, and stent patency with long-term follow up of EUS-BD are still unclear. Therefore, prospective, randomized controlled studies addressing these issues are needed. Despite this, EUS-BD undoubtedly is clinically useful as an alternative biliary drainage method. EUS-BD has the potential to be a first-line biliary drainage method instead of ERCP if results of clinical trials are favorable and the technique is simplified.

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