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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 32

of 'Gallstones in pregnancy'

Safety of ERCP during pregnancy.
Tham TC, Vandervoort J, Wong RC, Montes H, Roston AD, Slivka A, Ferrari AP, Lichtenstein DR, Van Dam J, Nawfel RD, Soetikno R, Carr-Locke DL
Am J Gastroenterol. 2003;98(2):308.
OBJECTIVES: There are few data in the literature regarding the indications, therapy, and safety of endoscopic management of pancreatico-biliary disorders during pregnancy. We report the largest single center experience with ERCP in pregnancy.
METHODS: We reviewed 15 patients that underwent ERCP during pregnancy. In all patients, the pelvis was lead-shielded and the fetus was monitored by an obstetrician. Fluoroscopy was minimized and hard copy radiographs taken only when essential.
RESULTS: The mean patient age was 28.9 yr (15-36 yr). The mean duration of gestation was 25 wk (12-33 wk); one patient was in the first, five in the second, and nine in the third trimester. The indications were gallstone pancreatitis (n = 6), choledocholithiasis on ultrasound (n = 5), elevated liver enzymes and a dilated bile duct on ultrasound (n = 2), abdominal pain and gallstones (n = 1), and chronic pancreatitis (n = 1). ERCP findings were bile duct stones (n = 6), patulous papilla (n = 1), bile duct debris (n = 1), normal bile duct and gallstones or gallbladder sludge (n = 3), dilated bile duct and gallstones (n = 1), normal bile duct and no gallstones (n = 2), and chronic pancreatitis (n = 1). Six patients underwent sphincterotomies and one a biliary stent insertion. One sphincterotomy was complicated by mild pancreatitis. All infants delivered to date have had Apgar-scores>8, and continuing pregnancies are uneventful. Mean fluorosocopy time was 3.2 min (SD +/- 1.8). An estimated fetal radiation exposure was 310 mrad (SD +/- 164) which is substantially below the accepted teratogenic dose.
CONCLUSIONS: ERCP in pregnancy seems to be safe for both mother and fetus; however, it should be restricted to therapeutic indications with additional intraprocedure safety measures.
Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham&Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.