Comparison of the usefulness of endoscopic papillary large-balloon dilation with endoscopic sphincterotomy for large and multiple common bile duct stones

Kouhei Tsuchida, Mari Iwasaki, Misako Tsubouchi, Tsunehiro Suzuki, Chieko Tsuchida, Naoto Yoshitake, Takako Sasai, Hideyuki Hiraishi
BMC Gastroenterology 2015, 15: 59

BACKGROUND: Endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST) is currently recognized as the primary endoscopic treatment for common bile duct stones. However, it is difficult to remove multiple (≥ 3) or large (≥ 15 mm) common bile duct stones with EST alone. Recently, EST plus endoscopic papillary large-balloon dilation (EPLBD) was reported to be an effective treatment for such bile duct stones. We compared the results of EST and EST + EPLBD for multiple (≥ 3) or large (≥ 15 mm) stones that were difficult to treat using EST alone. We also compared the complication rates between the techniques.

METHODS: Seventy patients with large (largest diameter, ≥ 15 mm) or ≥ 3 common bile duct stones treated in our department between April 2010 and March 2013 underwent EST + EPLBD (n = 34) or EST alone (n = 36). We compared final successful stone removal rates, rates of successful stone removal in the first session, procedure times, status of concurrent mechanical lithotripsy (ML), and complications between the EST + EPLBD and EST groups.

RESULTS: The rates of final successful stone removal were similar between the two groups (EST + EPLBD: 100 % vs. EST: 89 %; p = 0.115). The rate of successful stone removal in the first session was significantly higher in the EST + EPLBD group (EST + EPLBD: 88 % vs. EST: 56 %; p = 0.03). Moreover, the procedure time was significantly shorter (EST + EPLBD: 42 min vs. EST: 67 min; p = 0.011) and the rate of ML use was significantly lower in the EST + EPLBD group (EST + EPLBD: 50 % vs. EST: 94 %; p < 0.001). Complications like pancreatitis and bleeding occurred in three patients in the EST + EPLBD group and in 10 patients in the EST group, but the differences were not statistically significant (EST + EPLBD: 9 % vs. EST: 25 %; p = 0.112).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that EST + EPLBD is an effective therapy for patients with difficult-to-treat multiple or large common bile duct stones, because it requires fewer sessions and shorter operative times than EST alone.

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