Early endoscopic ultrasonography in acute biliary pancreatitis: A prospective pilot study

Andrea Anderloni, Marianna Galeazzi, Marco Ballarè, Michela Pagliarulo, Marco Orsello, Mario Del Piano, Alessandro Repici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM: To investigate the clinical usefulness of early endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) in the management of acute biliary pancreatitis (ABP). METHODS: All consecutive patients entering the emergency department between January 2010 and December 2012 due to acute abdominal pain and showing biochemical and/or radiological findings consistent with possible ABP were prospectively enrolled. Patients were classified as having a low, moderate, or high probability of common bile duct (CBD) stones, according to the established risk stratification. Exclusion criteria were: gastrectomy or patient in whom the cause of biliary obstruction was already identified by ultrasonography. All enrolled patients underwent EUS within 48 h of their admission. endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography was performed immediately after EUS only in those cases with proven CBD stones or sludge. The following parameters were investigated: (1) clinical: age, sex, fever; (2) radiological: dilated CBD; and (3) biochemical: bilirubin, AST, ALT, gGT, ALP, amylase, lipasis, PCR. Association between presence of CBD stone at EUS and the individual predictors were assessed by univariate logistic regression. Predictors significantly associated with CBD stones (p <0.05) were entered in a multivariate logistic regression model. RESULTS: A total of 181 patients with pancreatitis were admitted to the emergency department between January 2010 and December 2012. After exclusion criteria a total of 71 patients (38 females, 53.5%, mean age 58 ± 20.12 years, range 27-89 years; 33 males, 46.5%, mean age 65 ± 11.86 years, range 41-91 years) were included in the present study. The probability of CBD stones was considered low in 21 cases (29%), moderate in 26 (37%), and high in the remaining 24 (34%). The 71 patients included in the study underwent EUS, which allowed for a complete evaluation of the target sites in all the cases. The procedure was completed in a mean time of 14.7 min (range 9-34 min), without any notable complications. The overall CBD stone frequency was 44% (31 of 71), with a significant increase from the group at low pretest probability to that at moderate (OR = 5.79, p = 0.01) and high (OR = 4.25, p = 0.03) pretest probability. CONCLUSION: Early EUS in ABP allows, if appropriate, immediate endoscopic treatment and significant spare of unnecessary operative procedures thus reducing possible related complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10427-10434
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - Sep 28 2015


  • Acute biliary pancreatitis
  • Choledocolithiasis
  • Common bile duct stones
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiography
  • Endoscopic ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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