Timing of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in acute biliary pancreatitis without cholangitis: a nationwide inpatient cohort study

Authors Savan Kabaria, Hemant Mutneja, Michael Makar, Sushil Ahlawat, Anish V. Patel, Vinod K. Rustgi, Abhishek Bhurwa.


Background The timing of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in patients with acute biliary pancreatitis without cholangitis is unclear. We accessed a national database to analyze the outcomes of urgent (<24 h) and early (24-72 h) ERCP in this cohort.

Methods The cohort was extracted from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database. Hospital ERCP volumes were generated using unique hospital identifiers. Multivariate regression modeling was used to analyze the predictors of urgent vs. early ERCP use, and to determine various outcome variables between the 2 cohorts.

Results Overall, 105,433 admissions were evaluated. There was a significant rise in urgent ERCP performed over the study period. Older patients, males, patients with comorbidities, African American and Hispanic patient populations were less likely to receive urgent ERCP. High ERCP volume hospitals, teaching hospitals, and hospitals in the Midwest and West were more likely to perform urgent ERCP. There were no differences in mortality rates or complication rates between the 2 cohorts. However, there were significant differences in length of stay and healthcare cost analysis.

Conclusions The increasing use of urgent ERCP did not result in a clinically significant benefit in terms of mortality, length of stay, or healthcare cost analysis. The use of urgent ERCP is also not uniform across various demographic and hospital cohorts. Urgent ERCP may be over-utilized, and it may be reasonable to perform ERCP in this patient population based on the physician’s suspicion about the severity of disease.

Keywords Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, acute biliary pancreatitis, national trends

Ann Gastroenterol 2021; 34 (4): 575-581

Original Articles