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Dig Endosc. 2013 Mar;25(2):189-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1443-1661.2012.01344.x. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Comparison of carbon dioxide and air insufflation use by non-expert endoscopists during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.

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Department of Medicine, Gastroenterology, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan.



  Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is subject to several complications that include a lengthy procedure time, technical difficulty, and active bowel movement induced by air insufflation. In ERCP carried out by non-expert endoscopists who are prone to excessive luminal insufflation, insufflation with carbon dioxide (CO2 ) may provide better and safer outcomes. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of CO2 insufflation during ERCP by non-expert endoscopists.


  This study included 208 consecutive patients who received ERCP, excluding those in poor general health or with obstructive lung disease. The first operator for each patient was a non-expert endoscopist having done 50 or fewer ERCP procedures. Primary outcomes were the changes in cardiopulmonary state during ERCP. Secondary outcomes were ERCP complications. We designed a single-center, randomized, prospective, double-blind, controlled trial with CO2 and air insufflation during ERCP.


  CO2 insufflation did not affect overall procedure progression or results. A positive correlation was observed between procedure time and change in maximal systolic blood pressure from baseline among patients in the air insufflation group, but not in the CO2 insufflation group (correlation coefficient 0.408 vs 0.114, change in the maximal systolic blood pressure from baseline +4.2 vs+1.2 mmHg/10 min). This was consistent with our findings in patients treated by the first operator alone. The occurrence rate of post-ERCP pancreatitis tended to be lower in the CO2 group than the air group (4/102 [3.9%]vs 0/106 [0%], P = 0.056).


  CO2 insufflation during ERCP by non-expert endoscopists is recommended from the standpoints of efficacy and safety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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