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Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: Indications, patient preparation, and complications

INTRODUCTION

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 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 [1]:

Indication (appropriate or questionable)

Sedation and monitoring practice

Patient age and clinical condition

                                  

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Literature review current through: Jul 2014. | This topic last updated: Jul 29, 2014.
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