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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 134

of 'Post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) pancreatitis'

Post-ERCP pancreatitis: reduction by routine antibiotics.
Räty S, Sand J, Pulkkinen M, Matikainen M, Nordback I
J Gastrointest Surg. 2001;5(4):339.
Cholangitis and pancreatitis are severe complications of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Antibiotics have been considered important in preventing cholangitis, especially in those with jaundice. Some have suggested that bacteria may play a role in the induction of post-ERCP pancreatitis. It is not clear, however, whether the incidence of post-ERCP pancreatitis could be reduced by antibiotic prophylaxis, as is the case with septic complications. In this prospective study, a total of 321 consecutive patients were randomized to the following two groups: (1) a prophylaxis group (n = 161) that was given 2 g of cephtazidime intravenously 30 minutes before ERCP, and (2) a control group (n = 160) that received no antibiotics. All patients admitted to the hospital for ERCP who had not taken any antibiotics during the preceding week were included. Patients who were allergic to cephalosporins, patients with immune deficiency or any other condition requiring antibiotic prophylaxis, patients with clinical jaundice, and pregnant patients were excluded. In the final analysis six patients were excluded because of a diagnosis of bile duct obstruction but with unsuccessful biliary drainage that required immediate antibiotic treatment. The diagnosis of cholangitis was based on a rising fever, an increase in the C-reactive protein (CRP) level, and increases in leukocyte count and liver function values, which were associated with bacteremia in some. The diagnosis of acute pancreatitis was based on clinical findings, and increases in the serum amylase level (>900 IU/L), CRP level, and leukocyte count with no increase in liver chemical values. The control group had significantly more patients with post-ERCP pancreatitis (15 of 160 in the prophylaxis group vs. 4 of 155 in the control group; P = 0.009) and cholangitis (7 of 160 vs. 0 of 155; P = 0.009) compared to the prophylaxis group. Nine patients in the prophylaxis group (6%) and 15 patients in the control group (9%) had remarkably increased serum amylase levels (>900 IU/L) after ERCP, but clinical signs of acute pancreatitis with leukocytosis, CRP reaction, and pain developed in four of nine patients in the prophylaxis group compared to 15 of 15 patients with hyperamylasemia in the control group (P = 0.003). In a multivariate analysis, the lack of antibiotic prophylaxis (odds ratio 6.63, P = 0.03) and sphincterotomy (odds ratio 5.60, P = 0.05) were independent risk factors for the development of post-ERCP pancreatitis. We conclude that antibiotic prophylaxis effectively decreases the risk of pancreatitis, in addition to cholangitis after ERCP, and can thus be routinely recommended prior to ERCP. These results suggest that bacteria could play a role in the pathogenesis of post-ERCP pancreatitis
Department of Surgery, Tampere University Hospital, P.O. Box 2000, FIN 33521 Tampere, Finland.