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Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography services can be accessible and of a high standard in a district general hospital
  1. Vikramjit Mitra1,
  2. Harriet Mitchison2,
  3. David Nylander2
  1. 1Specialist Registrar in Gastroenterology, Sunderland Royal Hospital, UK
  2. 2Consultant Gastroenterologist, Sunderland Royal Hospital, UK
  1. Correspondence to Vikramjit Mitra, Specialist Registrar in Gastroenterology, Sunderland Royal Hospital, SR4 7TP, UK; mitravikram{at}


Background Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) is an important tool in the management of pancreato-biliary disease.

Objective To compare the current practice of ERCP in a district general hospital with those reported in the 2007 British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) ERCP audit and assess access to the service.

Design This was a service evaluation study. Data were collected retrospectively for all people who underwent ERCP. Demographic, clinical and procedure related data were collected and analysed.

Setting Sunderland Hospital.

Results 236 patients (median age 70 years, 56% women) underwent ERCP. The median period from referral to patient review was 1.0 day. The median period from the decision to carry out an ERCP to the actual procedure date was 3 days. All patients had radiological imaging before their first procedure. 96% patients had their bloods checked within 1 week of the procedure. The most common indication was related to choledocholithiasis and its complications. The mean doses of midazolam and diazemul used were 4.4 mg and 11.1 mg, respectively. The selective biliary cannulation rate was 92%. Sphincterotomy, biliary stent insertion and complete stone extraction were achieved in 94%, 85% and 88% of patients before the procedure. Complications that occurred as a result of ERCPs were as follows: bleeding (1.7%), pancreatitis (3.8%), cholangitis (0.4%) and renal failure (0.4%). The 30-day death rate was 4.6%. However, none of these were procedure related.

Conclusions The structure of the ERCP services at Sunderland Royal Hospital provides patients with a high-quality and accessible service. The technical success rate and sedation rate were better than those reported in the BSG ERCP audit. The complication rate and procedure-related mortality were comparable to the BSG audit and much below the published figures.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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