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EUS-Guided Biliary Drainage Versus ERCP for the Primary Palliation of Malignant Biliary Obstruction: A Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial

Woo Hyun Paik, Tae Hoon Lee, Do Hyun Park, Jun-Ho Choi, Seon-Ok Kim, Sunguk Jang, Dong Uk Kim, Ju Hyun Shim, Tae Jun Song, Sang Soo Lee, Dong-Wan Seo, Sung Koo Lee, Myung-Hwan Kim
American Journal of Gastroenterology 2018, 113 (7): 987-997

OBJECTIVES: The goal of the study was to determine whether endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided biliary drainage (EUS-BD) is comparable to conventional transpapillary stenting with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in palliation of malignant distal biliary obstruction. Although ERCP for the palliation of malignant biliary obstruction is the standard of care, post-procedure pancreatitis and stent dysfunctions are not uncommon. While EUS-BD has garnered interest as a viable alternative when ERCP is impossible, its role as a primary palliation of malignant distal biliary obstruction is yet to be proven.

METHODS: We performed random allocation to EUS-BD or ERCP in 125 patients with unresectable malignant distal biliary obstruction at four tertiary academic referral centers in South Korea.

RESULTS: Technical success rates were 93.8% (60/64) for EUS-BD and 90.2% (55/61) for ERCP (difference 3.6%, 95% 1-sided confidence interval lower limit -4.4%, P = 0.003 for noninferiority margin of 10%). Clinical success rates were 90.0% (54/60) in EUS-BD and 94.5% (52/55) in ERCP (P = 0.49). Lower rates of overall adverse events (6.3% vs 19.7%, P = 0.03) including post-procedure pancreatitis (0 vs 14.8%), reintervention (15.6% vs 42.6%), and higher rate of stent patency (85.1% vs 48.9%) were observed with EUS-BD. EUS-BD was also associated with more preserved quality of life (QOL) than transpapillary stenting after 12 weeks of the procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated comparable technical and clinical success rates between EUS-BD and ERCP in relief malignant distal biliary obstruction. Substantially longer duration of patency coupled with lower rates of adverse events and reintervention, and more preserved QOL were observed with EUS-BD (, Identifier: KCT0001396, ).


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