Single-balloon enteroscopy effectively enables diagnostic and therapeutic retrograde cholangiography in patients with surgically altered anatomy

Andrew Y. Wang, Bryan G. Sauer, Brian W. Behm, Madhuri Ramanath, Dawn G. Cox, Kristi L. Ellen, Vanessa M. Shami, Michel Kahaleh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Background: In patients with surgically altered anatomy, ERCP is often unsuccessful. Single-balloon enteroscopy (SBE) enables deep intubation of the small bowel, permitting diagnostic and therapeutic ERCP in this subset of patients. Objective: To determine the effectiveness of SBE in performing endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC) in patients with surgically altered anatomy. Design: Case series. Setting: Large quaternary-care center. Patients: Thirteen patients (11 women) underwent 16 SBE procedures with ERCP. Patient anatomy consisted of Whipple (n = 3), hepaticojejunostomy (n = 3), Billroth II (n = 1), and Roux-en-Y (n = 9). Interventions: Patients with surgically altered anatomy in whom standard ERCP techniques had failed or were not possible underwent ERC by using SBE with initial therapeutic intent. Main Outcome Measurements: Success rates of diagnostic ERC and therapeutic ERC in those patients who required biliary intervention. Procedure-related complications were also assessed. Results: Diagnostic ERC was successful 12 (92.3%) of 13 patients and in 13 (81.3%) of 16 cases. Therapeutic ERC was required in 10 patients in whom diagnostic ERC was first accomplished, and therapeutic ERC was successful in 9 (90%) of 10 patients. Biliary interventions included balloon dilation (n = 4), stone extraction (n = 2), sphincterotomy (n = 4), removal of a surgically placed stent (n = 3), and stenting (n = 2). Two patients developed pancreatitis after therapeutic ERC. Median follow-up was 53 days (range 22-522 days). Overall procedural success in an intent-to-treat analysis by case was 75%. Limitation: Single-center experience. Conclusion: SBE enables diagnostic and therapeutic ERC in most patients with altered anatomy. SBE-assisted therapeutic ERC may be associated with an increased risk of pancreatitis. Improvement of the available equipment is necessary to perform more efficient and effective biliary interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-649
Number of pages9
JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


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