The importance of early recognition in management of ERCP-related perforations

Jason G. Bill, Zachary Smith, Joseph Brancheck, Jeffrey Elsner, Paul Hobbs, Gabriel D. Lang, Dayna S. Early, Koushik Das, Thomas Hollander, Maria B.Majella Doyle, Ryan C. Fields, William G. Hawkins, Steven M. Strasberg, Chet Hammill, William C. Chapman, Steven Edmundowicz, Daniel K. Mullady, Vladimir M. Kushnir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Iatrogenic perforations related to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) are rare events, carrying with it a mortality of up to 8%. Given the rarity of this adverse event, there remains limited data and continued uncertainties when choosing therapeutic strategies. Our aims were to evaluate the management of ERCP-related perforations and compare outcomes based on timing of recognition. Methods: The endoscopic databases of two tertiary care centers were interrogated to identify consecutive adult patients who sustained ERCP-related perforation over a 10-year period from 2006 to 2016. Electronic medical records were reviewed to extract demographic data, perforation type, management strategies, clinical data, and patient outcomes. Results: 14,045 ERCP’s were performed during our 10-year study period. Sixty-three patients (average age 62.3 ± 2.38 years, 76% female) with ERCP-related perforations were included. Stapfer I perforations were found in 14 (22.2%) patients, Stapfer II in 24 (38.1%), and Stapfer III and IV perforations were identified in 16 (25.4%) and 9 (14.28%), respectively. Forty-seven (74.6%) perforations were recognized immediately during the ERCP, whereas 16 (25.4%) were recognized late. Endoscopic therapy was attempted in 35 patients in whom perforations were identified immediately, and was technically successful in 33 (94.3%). In all, 4 (1 immediate/ 3 delayed) patients required percutaneous drainage and 9 (5 immediate/ 4 delayed) surgery. Length of hospital stay, ICU admission were significantly shorter and incidence of SIRS was significantly lower when perforation was recognized immediately. Conclusions: Immediate recognition of ERCP-related perforations leads to more favorable patient outcomes; with lower incidence of SIRS, less need for ICU level care, and shorter hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4841-4849
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
  • Iatrogenic perforation


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