Role and timing of endoscopy in acute biliary pancreatitis

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The role and timing of endoscopy in the setting of acute biliary pancreatitis (ABP) is still being debated. Despite numerous randomized trials have been published, there is an obvious lack of consensus on the indications and timing of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in ABP in metaanalyses and nationwide guidelines. The present editorial has been written to clarify the role of endoscopy in ABP. In clinical practice the decision to perform an ERCP is often based on biochemical and radiological criteria despite they already have been shown to be unreliable predictors of common bile duct stone presence. Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) is not currently a worldwide standard diagnostic procedure early in the course of acute biliary pancreatitis, but it has been shown to be accurate, safe and cost effective in diagnosing biliary obstructions compared with magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography and ERCP and therefore in preventing unnecessary ERCP and its related complications. 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)11205-11208
Number of pages4
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - Oct 28 2015


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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