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Pancreas. 2009 Nov;38(8):903-6. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e3181b2bc03.

Long-term clinical outcomes after endoscopic minor papilla therapy in symptomatic patients with pancreas divisum.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Digestive Disease Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.



To assess the long-term outcomes of endoscopic minor papilla therapy in a spectrum of symptomatic patients with pancreas divisum.


Patients with pancreas divisum coded in a prospective database as having had minor papilla endotherapy (July 1997-May 2003, n = 145) were grouped into 3 categories: (1) acute recurrent pancreatitis, (2) chronic pancreatitis, and (3) chronic/recurrent epigastric pain. Telephone follow-up was conducted (78% of patients), including questions regarding interval co-interventions and narcotic use. Primary success was defined as clinical improvement (better or cured on a Likert scale), without needing narcotics, after 1 therapeutic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Fisher exact and Mann-Whitney U tests and multivariate logistic regression were used to identify predictors of success.


Primary success rates in acute recurrent pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, and chronic/recurrent epigastric pain were achieved in 53.2%, 18.2%, and 41.4%, respectively; and secondary success rates (<or=2 additional endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographies), 71.0%, 45.5%, and 55.2%, respectively (median follow-up, 43.0 months; range, 14-116 months). Younger age (median age, 46.5 years [no success] vs 58.0 years [success]; P < 0.0001) and chronic pancreatitis (odds ratio, 0.10; 95% confidence interval, 0.03-0.39; P = 0.001) independently predicted a lower chance of success.


Significant long-term improvement can be achieved with endoscopic therapy in selected patients with pancreas divisum, although many require multiple procedures. Older patients, without chronic pancreatitis, were most likely to respond.

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