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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 214

of 'Rare complications of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)'

Acute pulmonary embolism during an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.
Painter NP, Kumar PA, Arora H
Ann Card Anaesth. 2014;17(2):145.
A 76-year-old female patient presented for an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for the removal of a biliary stent and lithotripsy. During the procedure, an acute drop in the end-tidal CO 2 , followed by cardiovascular collapse prompted the initiation of the advanced cardiac life support protocol. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) demonstrated direct evidence of pulmonary embolism. The patient was promptly treated with thrombolytic therapy and subsequently discharged home on oral warfarin therapy, with no noted sequelae. Although, there have been case reports of air embolism during an ERCP presenting with cardiovascular collapse, to the best of our knowledge, there are no reported cases of acute pulmonary embolus during this procedure. While the availability of TEE in the operating suites is quite common, quick access and interpretation capabilities in remote locations may not be as common. With the expansion of anesthesia services outside of the operating rooms, it may be prudent to develop rapid response systems that incorporate resources such as TEE and trained personnel to deal with such emergent situations.
Department of Anesthesiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.