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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jan;46(1):116-21. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2010.513063. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

A national audit of temporal trends in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in Norway.

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Department of Surgery, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway.

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  • Scand J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jan;46(1):121.



The introduction of non-invasive imaging for biliary-pancreatic diseases has changed the indications and volumes of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) over time. This study aimed to provide national figures on ERCP in Norway over the last decade.


Data from four national surveys on ERCP activity collected from 1998 to 2009 at the surgical and medical departments of all Norwegian hospitals were analyzed for variations in volumes among centers, regions, and specialties over time.


A total of 42,260 procedures were reported (average 3842 procedures per year, range 3492-4632). The number of hospitals with ERCP decreased from 41 to 35 and the annual number of procedures decreased by 13% (from 4632 to 4036), but the number of ERCP endoscopists remained stable at ~100. The proportion of procedures performed by surgeons decreased from 40% to 32% (p < 0.001) during the first half of the study period; the number of gastrointestinal surgeons performing ERCP remained stable in the latter half (46% and 48% for 2004 and 2008, respectively). In 2004, 15 endoscopists signed up for a formal ERCP training program, including 8 (53%) surgeons. This number increased to 21 (48%) in 2008. A non-significant decrease in referrals (49% in 2002 vs. 35% in 2005) between various ERCP centers was reported. Regional variation in ERCP volumes leveled off during the study period.


Though the number of both procedures and hospitals performing ERCP in Norway decreased, the proportion of low-volume and high-volume centers remained steady. The proportion of procedures by gastroenterological surgeons decreased significantly, yet roughly half of the endoscopists in ERCP training programs are surgeons. Regional variation in the ERCP numbers appears to have diminished.

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