Journal Article
Systematic Review
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Emergent versus urgent ERCP in acute cholangitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Acute cholangitis is characterized by abdominal pain, fever, and jaundice. Most patients respond to medical management with intravenous hydration and antibiotics. About 20% to 30% require biliary drainage, and ERCP is the procedure of choice. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the impact of emergent biliary drainage on patient outcomes.

METHODS: A comprehensive literature review was conducted by searching the Embase and PubMed databases from inception to April 2019 to identify all studies that evaluated the impact of timing of ERCP on patient outcomes. Our primary outcome was in-hospital mortality (IHM), and secondary outcomes were length of stay (LOS), organ failure, and 30-day mortality. Fixed and random effects models were used to generate pooled measures of IHM, 30-day mortality, and LOS.

RESULTS: Nine observational studies involving 7534 patients were included in the primary meta-analysis. IHM was significantly lower in patients who underwent emergent biliary drainage within 48 hours (odds ratio [OR], 0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28-0.98). As a sensitivity analysis, we pooled the data from 2 population registry studies of 81,893 patients, which yielded consistent results for the main outcomes. LOS was also significantly lower in patients who underwent ERCP within 48 hours with a mean difference of 5.56 days (95% CI, 1.59-9.53). Patients who underwent emergent ERCP also had lower odds of 30-day mortality (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.14-1.08) and organ failure (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.33-1.46).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study reveals that performing emergent ERCP within 48 hours in patients with acute cholangitis is associated with lower IHM, 30-day mortality, organ failure, and shorter LOS.

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