Success and safety of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in children

Jordan D. Rosen, Rebecca S. Lane, Jose M. Martinez, Eduardo A. Perez, Jun Tashiro, Amy E. Wagenaar, Robert M. Van Haren, Ashwini Kumar, Juan E. Sola*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose Despite its diagnostic and therapeutic utility, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is underutilized in children. Methods Patients younger than 18 years undergoing ERCP from 2000 to 2014 at a children's hospital were identified. Patient characteristics and outcomes were evaluated. Results Overall, 215 ERCPs (78% therapeutic) were performed in 184 patients. Our cohort was 67% female, with a median age (IQR) of 14 (8) years. Common indications were choledocholithiasis, pancreatitis, sclerosing cholangitis, and postoperative complication. ERCP was performed with an adult duodenoscope in 96% of cases and with a pediatric duodenoscope in the remainder. Patients requiring a pediatric scope ranged in weight from 4.3 to 22.8 kg, with ages from 2 months to 6 years. Cannulation was successful in 97% of cases. Findings included bile duct (BD) stones, BD dilatation, sclerosing cholangitis, BD stricture, pancreatic duct (PD) disruption, choledochal cyst, pancreas divisum, and BD leak. The most common therapeutic techniques were sphincterotomy, stone extraction, and stent. Complication rate was overall 10% with no deaths. On multivariate analysis, PD cannulation was associated with pancreatitis (OR 3.48), while age < 4 years (10.7), male gender (12.8), and precut sphincterotomy (31.3) were associated with hemorrhage (all p < 0.05). Conclusion ERCP can be performed successfully and safely in children with complication rates comparable to those in adults. The type of cannulation and patient age are independent risk factors for complications. Level of evidence Treatment study—IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1148-1151
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Cholangiopancreatography
  • Endoscopic
  • Endoscopic retrograde
  • Gallstones
  • Outcomes research
  • Sphincterotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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