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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 4

of 'Endoscopic management of bile duct stones: Standard techniques and mechanical lithotripsy'

Endoscopic sphincterotomy for stones by experts is safe, even in younger patients with normal ducts.
Cotton PB, Geenen JE, Sherman S, Cunningham JT, Howell DA, Carr-Locke DL, Nickl NJ, Hawes RH, Lehman GA, Ferrari A, Slivka A, Lichtenstein DR, Baillie J, Jowell PS, Lail LM, Evangelou H, Bosco JJ, Hanson BL, Hoffman BJ, Rahaman SM, Male R
Ann Surg. 1998;227(2):201.
OBJECTIVE: To provide current information on the risks of endoscopic sphincterotomy for stone.
SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: In recent years (since the popularity of laparoscopic cholecystectomy), endoscopic sphincterotomy has been used increasingly for the management of bile duct stones in relatively young and healthy patients. The validity of this trend has been questioned using data on short-term complications derived from earlier decades that involved more elderly and high-risk patients.
METHODS: Seven academic centers collected data prospectively using a common database. Complications within 30 days of the procedures were documented by standard criteria.
RESULTS: Of 1921 patients, 112 (5.8%) developed complications; two thirds of these events were graded as mild (<3 days in hospital). There was no evidence of increased risk in younger patients or in those with smaller bile ducts. There was only one severe complication and there were no fatalities in 238 patients age<60, with bile duct diameters of<9 mm.
CONCLUSION: Sphincterotomy for stones can be performed very safely by experienced endoscopists.
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA.