Background & Aims: Placement of pancreatic duct (PD) stents prevents pancreatitis after endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). There is evidence that rectal administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also prevents post-ERCP pancreatitis, but the 2 approaches alone have not been compared directly. We conducted a network meta-analysis to indirectly compare the efficacies of these procedures. Methods: PubMed and Embase were searched by 2 independent reviewers to identify full-length clinical studies, published in English, investigating use of PD stent placement and rectal NSAIDs to prevent post-ERCP pancreatitis. We identified 29 studies (22 of PD stents and 7 of NSAIDs). We used network meta-analysis to compare rates of post-ERCP pancreatitis among patients who received only rectal NSAIDs, only PD stents, or both. Results: Placement of PD stents and rectal administration of NSAIDs were each superior to placebo in preventing post-ERCP pancreatitis. The combination of rectal NSAIDs and stents was not superior to either approach alone. Pooled results showed that rectal NSAIDs alone were superior to PD stents alone in preventing post-ERCP pancreatitis (odds ratio, 0.48; 95% confidence interval, 0.26-0.87). Conclusions: Based on a network meta-analysis, rectal NSAIDs alone are superior to PD stents alone in preventing post-ERCP pancreatitis, and should be considered first-line therapy for selected patients. However, these findings were limited by the small number of studies assessed (only 29 studies), potential publication bias, and the indirect nature of the comparison. High-quality, randomized, controlled trials are needed to compare these 2 interventions and confirm these findings.
- Adverse Event/Complication
- Pancreatic Inflammation