Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an endoscopic technique in which a specialized side-viewing upper endoscope is guided into the duodenum, allowing for instruments to be passed into the bile and pancreatic ducts. These are opacified by injection of a contrast medium, thereby permitting their radiologic visualization and allowing for a variety of therapeutic interventions. It is a relatively complex endoscopic procedure since it requires specialized equipment and has a long learning curve to develop proficiency. Its benefits in the minimally-invasive management of biliary and pancreatic disorders are challenged by a higher potential for serious complications than any other standard endoscopic technique.
Similar to other endoscopic procedures, determinants of ERCP procedural safety include :
●Indication (appropriate or questionable)
●Sedation and monitoring practice
●Patient age and clinical condition