Medline ® Abstract for Reference 210
of 'Rare complications of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)'
Prolonged cholestatic jaundice after endoscopic retrograde cholangiography.
Dourakis SP, Mayroyannis C, Alexopoulou A, Hadziyannis SJ
The main complications of endoscopic retrograde cholangiography and sphincterotomy are bleeding, pancreatitis, perforation and sepsis. Two cases of unexplained prolonged cholestatic jaundice in patients who underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC) for biliary obstruction due to choledocholithiasis are reported. The patients were admitted because of right upper quadrant pain, vomiting and jaundice. Laboratory tests showed increased levels of total and conjugated serum bilirubin and increased alkaline phosphatase. Ultrasound examination showed cholelithiasis and choledocholithiasis with bile duct dilatation. ERC with sphincterotomy was performed and gallstones obstructing the common bile duct were removed endoscopically. Following ERC and despite complete patency of the biliary tree, a progressive increase of total and conjugated bilirubin and of alkaline phosphatase was noted, associated with itching and total stool discoloration. The insertion of nasobiliary drain did not improve the jaundice. Prednisolone treatment for 12 days was associated with progressive restoration of serum bilirubin alkaline phosphatase to normal levels. It was postulated that the radiocontrast material used may have acted toxically on the liver with disruption of the canalicular plasma membrane. It is proposed that intrahepatic cholestasis should be added in the list of complications of endoscopic retrograde cholangiography.
Academic Department of Medicine, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens, Greece.