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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 11

of 'Cholangioscopy and pancreatoscopy'

Is there a role for cholangioscopy in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis?
Awadallah NS, Chen YK, Piraka C, Antillon MR, Shah RJ
Am J Gastroenterol. 2006;101(2):284.
OBJECTIVES: Assess the role of cholangioscopy in primary sclerosing cholangitis for 1) detection of cholangiocarcinoma using cholangioscopy-assisted biopsy 2) detection of stones not seen on cholangiography 3) stone removal with cholangioscopy-directed lithotripsy.
METHODS: Prospective cohort of consecutive patients referred for cholangioscopy to evaluate dominant strictures or stones. A data collection sheet was employed. Follow-up was by chart review/phone contact. Clinical improvement was defined as resolution of jaundice or>or =50% reduction in pain or cholangitis episodes requiring hospitalization.
RESULTS: 41 patients (30M, 11F) had 60 cholangioscopy procedures (55 per oral, 5 percutaneous). 33/41 (80%) patients underwent 44 tissue sampling events.
HISTOLOGY: positive for extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (N = 1), negative/atypical (N = 31), and inadequate (N = 1). Stones were found in 23/41 (56%) patients, of which 7/23 (30%) were missed on cholangiography and detected only by cholangioscopy. 9/23 (39%) underwent cholangioscopy-directed lithotripsy. Stone clearance: complete (N = 10, 7 by cholangioscopy-directed lithotripsy after failed conventional stone extraction); partial (N = 7); and not attempted (N = 6). Median follow-up was 17.0 months (range 1-56). Clinical improvement was achieved in 25/40 (63%). Eight patients have undergone transplant and cholangiocarcinoma was present in the explant of two at 1 and 12 months post-cholangioscopy, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first series of patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis undergoing cholangioscopy for the evaluation of dominant strictures and cholangioscopy-directed stone therapy with demonstrable clinical benefits. Stones detected by cholangioscopy were missed by cholangiography in nearly one of three patients. Cholangioscopy-directed lithotripsy may be superior to conventional ERCP for achieving complete stone clearance. Despite the use of cholangioscopy, diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma remains technically challenging.
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.