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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 19

of 'Etiology of acute pancreatitis'

Metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials of endoscopic retrograde cholangiography and endoscopic sphincterotomy for the treatment of acute biliary pancreatitis.
Sharma VK, Howden CW
Am J Gastroenterol. 1999 Nov;94(11):3211-4.
OBJECTIVE: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiography with endoscopic sphincterotomy (ERC+ES) has been advocated for the management of acute biliary pancreatitis. However, it is also viewed as dangerous. Our objective was to review published randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) of ERC+ES in patients with acute biliary pancreatitis and, by metaanalysis, to estimate the overall efficacy and safety of this approach.
METHODS: We performed a fully recursive literature search for published RCTs of ERC+ES in gallstone-related acute pancreatitis. RCTs were pooled. Individual and overall mortality and complication rates were calculated, together with their 95% confidence intervals (CI), absolute risk reduction (ARR), relative risk reduction (RRR), and numbers needed to treat (NNT) for avoidance of complications or death.
RESULTS: Four published RCTs had a numerically lower complication rate, and three had a numerically lower mortality rate, in the treated groups than in controls. After pooling, there were 460 treated patients and 374 controls. Complications occurred in 115 (25.0%) treatedpatients and 143 (38.2%) controls (z = 4.10; p<0.001). Twenty-four treated patients (5.2%) and 34 controls (9.1%) died (z = 2.15; p<0.05). ERC+ES had a 34.6% RRR for complications and a 42.9% RRR for death; ARR for complications and death was 13.2% (95% CI: 6.9-19.5%) and 3.9% (95% CI: 0.35-7.45%), respectively. The NNT for avoidance of complications and death was 7.6 and 25.6, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: ERC+ES reduces morbidity and mortality in patients with acute biliary pancreatitis. Treating 26 such patients with ERC+ES is predicted to save one life.
Department of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock 72207-7199, USA.