Safety and efficacy of extending a previous endoscopic sphincterotomy for the treatment of retained or recurrent common bile duct stones

Authors Antonios Vezakis, Andreas Polydorou, Elissaios Kontis, Eirini Pantiora, Ioannis S. Papanikolaou, Georgios Fragulidis.


Background The aim of the study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of extending a previous endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) in patients with retained or recurrent common bile duct (CBD) stones.

Methods Between 2001 and 2013, extension of a previous ES, for known or suspected CBD stones, was performed in 118 patients (m/f, 53/65) with a median age of 74 (range: 31-91) years (group A). During the same period, ES was performed in 1064 patients with suspected or known choledocholithiasis (group B). The efficacy and complications of the extension (group A) were analyzed and a comparison was made between groups regarding complications.

Results Bile duct cannulation was straightforward in all patients in group A, while it was considered difficult in 49% of patients in group B. Complete clearance was achieved in 76/97 patients (78%) with CBD stones, after a mean of 1.18 attempts per patient. Mechanical lithotripsy was required in 10% of patients. After extension, immediate bleeding occurred in 24 patients (20%), which stopped spontaneously in 9 (37%) and endoscopic hemostasis was required in the remainder. Complications were more frequent in group B (5.3% vs. 0.8%, P=0.031), but there was no significant difference for any individual complication. Immediate bleeding was more common in group B (29% vs. 20%, P=0.035), but there was no difference in clinical bleeding.

Conclusion Extension of a previous ES seems to be a simple, effective and safe technique, allowing stone clearance in nearly 80% of patients; it is thus recommended in patients with CBD stones after ES.

Keywords Endoscopic sphincterotomy, extension, choledocholithiasis, recurrent stones, balloon dilation, complications, sphincteroplasty, retained stones

Ann Gastroenterol 2018; 31 (1): 109-114

Original Articles