Background In high-risk cases a combination of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and selective pancreatic stenting may reduce the risk of post ERCP pancreatitis (PEP). However, studies on whether this practice reduces PEP in normal risk ERCPs have shown conflicting results.
Aim To compare the rate of PEP for normal risk ERCP, where patients are administered rectal NSAIDs immediately following the procedure with selective pancreatic stenting (N/S), against the previous practice, which did not incorporate N/S.
Method Consecutive ERCPs from 2009–2016 were analysed pre and post N/S. In the post N/S group rectal NSAIDS were administered immediately following the procedure. Pancreatic stents were used if the pancreatic duct was cannulated more than three times during the procedure. PEP was defined as post ERCP abdominal pain and a rise in amylase to at least twice the upper limit of normal. Statistical analysis was by paired t and McNemars tests.
Results 574 ERCP procedures were performed, of which 509 were successful (89%). 335 (58%) were female, with an average age of 67.7 (range16–94 years). 488 were therapeutic (96%). There were no statistically significant differences in the demographics of each group. 23 of 375 (6.1%) in the Pre N/S group developed PEP compared with 4 of 199 (2%) in the Post N/S group, p=0.02.
Conclusions This study shows a further significant reduction of PEP in normal risk ERCP in a cohort of patients with a historically low PEP rate following the introduction of rectal NSAIDs and selective pancreatic stenting.