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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 50

of 'Gallstones in pregnancy'

Endoscopic sphincterotomy for the treatment of gallstone pancreatitis during pregnancy.
Barthel JS, Chowdhury T, Miedema BW
Surg Endosc. 1998;12(5):394.
BACKGROUND: Gallstones are the most common cause of acute pancreatitis during pregnancy. Without intervention, gallstone pancreatitis during pregnancy is associated with an antepartum recurrence rate of 70%, which exposes the mother and fetus to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. A safe, effective means to prevent recurrent gallstone pancreatitis during pregnancy is desirable.
METHODS: Since 1991, we have managed gallstone pancreatitis in three pregnant patients with endoscopic retrograde cholangiogram (ERC), followed by spincterotomy, despite the absence of common bile duct stones.
RESULTS: All patients were judged to have mild pancreatitis by modified Ranson criteria and the Multiorgan System Failure criteria. During cholangiogram, fetal shielding was employed and fluoroscopy times ranged from 36 s to 7.2 min. One patient experienced postprocedure pancreatitis of 48-h duration. None of the patients experienced further episodes of pancreatitis and none underwent predelivery cholecystectomy.
CONCLUSIONS: In pregnancy-associated gallstone pancreatitis, endoscopic sphincterotomy prevents recurrence of pancreatitis and the need for cholecystectomy during gestation. We believe endoscopic sphincterotomy represents a promising management alternative for gallstone pancreatitis during pregnancy. Further investigation is warranted.
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, MA-421, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO 65212, USA.