Objective In 2010, the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy delivered guidelines on the prophylaxis of postendoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (post-ERCP) pancreatitis (PEP). These included Grade A recommendations advising the use of prophylactic pancreatic stent (PPS) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in high-risk cases. Our study aim was to capture the current practice of UK biliary endoscopists in the prevention of PEP.
Design In summer 2012, an anonymous online 15-item survey was emailed to 373 UK consultant gastroenterologists, gastrointestinal surgeons and radiologists identified to perform ERCP.
Results The response rate was 59.5% (222/373). Of the respondents, 52.5% considered ever using PPS for the prevention of PEP. PPS users always attempted insertion for the following procedural risk factors: pancreatic sphincterotomy (48.9%), suspected sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (46.5%), pancreatic duct instrumentation (35.9%), previous PEP (25.2%), precut sphincterotomy (8.5%) and pancreatic duct injection (7.8%). Prophylactic NSAID use was significantly associated with attempts at PPS placement (p<0.001). 64.1% of non-PPS users cited a lack of conviction in their benefit as the main reason for their decision. Self-reported pharmacological use rates for PEP prevention were: NSAIDs (34.6%), antibiotics (20.6%), rapid intravenous fluids (13.2%) and octreotide (1.6%). 6% routinely measured amylase post-ERCP.
Conclusions Despite strong evidence-based guidelines for prevention of PEP, less than 53% of ERCP practitioners use pancreatic stenting or NSAIDs. This suggests a need for the development of British Society of Gastroenterology guidelines to increase awareness in the UK. Even among stent users, PPS are being underused for most high-risk cases. Prophylactic pharmacological measures were rarely used as was routine post-ERCP serum amylase measurement.
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