Medline ® Abstract for Reference 25
Pre-operative biliary drainage for obstructive jaundice.
Fang Y, Gurusamy KS, Wang Q, Davidson BR, Lin H, Xie X, Wang C
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;
BACKGROUND: Patients with obstructive jaundice have various pathophysiological changes that affect the liver, kidney, heart, and the immune system. There is considerable controversy as to whether temporary relief of biliary obstruction prior to major definitive surgery (pre-operative biliary drainage) is of any benefit to the patient.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the benefits and harms of pre-operative biliary drainage versus no pre-operative biliary drainage (direct surgery) in patients with obstructive jaundice (irrespective of a benign or malignant cause).
SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Science Citation Index Expanded until February 2012.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We included all randomised clinical trials comparing biliary drainage followed by surgery versus direct surgery, performed for obstructive jaundice, irrespective of the sample size, language, and publication status.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and extracted data. We calculated the risk ratio (RR), rate ratio (RaR), or mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) based on the available patient analyses. We assessed the risk of bias (systematic overestimation of benefit or systematic underestimation of harm) with components of the Cochrane risk of bias tool. We assessed the risk of play of chance (random errors) with trial sequential analysis.
MAIN RESULTS: We included six trials with 520 patients comparing pre-operative biliary drainage (265 patients) versus no pre-operative biliary drainage (255 patients). Four trials used percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage and two trials used endoscopic sphincterotomy and stenting as the method of pre-operative biliary drainage. The risk of bias was high in all trials. The proportion of patients with malignant obstruction varied between 60% and 100%. There was no significant difference in mortality (40/265, weighted proportion 14.9%) in the pre-operative biliary drainage group versus the direct surgery group (34/255, 13.3%) (RR 1.12; 95% CI 0.73 to 1.71; P = 0.60). The overall serious morbidity was higher in the pre-operative biliary drainage group (60 per 100 patients in the pre-operative biliary drainage group versus 26 per 100 patients in the direct surgery group) (RaR 1.66; 95% CI 1.28 to 2.16; P = 0.0002). The proportion of patients who developed serious morbidity was significantly higher in the pre-operative biliary drainage group (75/102, 73.5%) in the pre-operative biliary drainage group versus the direct surgery group (37/94, 37.4%) (P<0.001). Quality of life was not reported in any of the trials. There was no significant difference in the length of hospital stay (2 trials, 271 patients; MD 4.87 days; 95% CI -1.28 to 11.02; P = 0.12) between the two groups. Trial sequential analysis showed that for mortality only a small proportion of the required information size had been obtained. There seemed to be no significant differences in the subgroup of trials assessing percutaneous compared to endoscopic drainage.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is currently not sufficient evidence to support or refute routine pre-operative biliary drainage for patients with obstructive jaundice. Pre-operative biliary drainage may increase the rate of serious adverse events. So, the safety of routine pre-operative biliary drainage has not been established. Pre-operative biliary drainage should not be used in patients undergoing surgery for obstructive jaundice outside randomised clinical trials.
Department of Neurosurgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.