Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography complications in the era of cholangioscopy: Is there an increased risk?

Christopher W. Hammerle, Shahzad Haider, Matthew Chung, Ambarish Pandey, Ioana Smith, Michel Kahaleh, Bryan G. Sauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Single-operator cholangioscopy allows direct visualization of the biliary tree and is being used in the diagnosis and treatment of various biliary conditions. To date, there are few data examining complications of single-operator cholangioscopy. Methods: We evaluated all endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedures over a two-year period and compared its complication rate to single-operator cholangioscopy in a tertiary care centre with extensive experience in single-operator cholangioscopy.A total of 2087 patients (55% men, mean age 57.4 ± 16.4) had a therapeutic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, out of which 169 also had single-operator cholangioscopy performed on them. Results: 169 single-operator cholangioscopy procedures were performed (53% men) with a mean patient age of 60.7 ± 15.2 years. Out of the 2087 patients, 160 complications occurred (7.7%), and included pancreatitis (n=47, 2.2%), infection (n=24, 1.1%), bleeding (n=44, 2.1%), perforation (n=16, 0.8%) and other (n=29, 1.4%). Univariate analysis on overall complications identified seven variables with a p value < 0.2, which were included in the multivariate analysis. Biliary sphincterotomy, pancreatic duct stent placement, and ampullectomy were associated with increased complications. Single-operator cholangioscopy was not associated with increased complications on multivariate analysis. Conclusion: Single-operator cholangioscopy is not associated with an increased rate of complications when compared to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. The types and frequencies of overall endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography complications are similar to previously reported series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-758
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Direct visualization
  • ERCP
  • SPY
  • Single operator cholangioscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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