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J Pediatr Surg. 2010 May;45(5):938-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2010.02.009.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is useful and safe in children.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Ste-Justine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a recognized diagnostic and therapeutic tool in the adult population. Its use in children has been more common in the last years. There are little data on safety and usefulness of that procedure in children. The aim of this study was to review the experience with ERCP in a tertiary university center dedicated to children.


We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients seen at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Ste-Justine (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) who had undergone an ERCP between September 1990 and July 2007. Data on demographics, diagnosis, anesthesia type, treatments, and complications were collected.


Thirty-eight ERCPs were performed on 29 patients. There were 21 girls (72%), and median age at time of procedure was 10.3 years old (range, 3-17 years). Most had only one procedure performed. Two children had 2 interventions, and 1 child with papillary stenosis had 8 interventions linked to stent treatment. The ampulla was cannulated, and the procedure was successfully completed in 97% (37/38) of cases. General anesthesia and sedation were performed in 74% and 26% of procedures, respectively. Indications for ERCP were 29 recurrent or chronic pancreatitis (76%), 8 common bile duct obstructions (21%), and 1 choledochal cyst (3%). Endoscopic treatment was done in 29% of cases. The complication rate was 13.5%, and 4 clinical acute pancreatitis resolved with conservatory treatment. No severe pancreatitis, perforation, or bleeding was noted. Of the patients, 79% had their follow-up at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Ste-Justine for a median length of 43 months (range, 1-53 months).


Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is used as a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure in children with a complication rate similar to that seen in adults. The need for general anesthesia is much more frequent with children. When performed by well-trained endoscopists, ERCP is useful and safe in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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