Efficacy of Endoscopic Minor Papilla Sphincterotomy for Symptomatic Santorinicele

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Santorinicele, a rare focal cystic dilation of the distal portion of the dorsal pancreatic duct at the minor papilla, can be a cause of recurrent acute pancreatitis (RAP). Endoscopic minor papilla sphincterotomy (EMPS) has been evaluated as a treatment in case reports but never systematically investigated.


We performed a retrospective analysis of the efficacy of EMPS in reducing episodes of pancreatitis. We collected data on 30 patients with santorinicele and RAP who underwent EMPS from June 2009 through April 2015 at University Hospital of Verona in Italy. The mean follow-up period was 43.8 months.


The average number of pancreatitis episodes per year before EMPS was 1.59 vs 0.18 episodes after EMPS; the average number of pancreatitis cases that occurred during a comparable time period before EMPS was 2.63 vs 0.67 cases after EMPS (P< .0001). Complete responses to EMPS (no recurrence of pancreatitis) were reported for 80% of patients. Six patients relapsed after a mean time of 16 months. Five patients were found to have a potential cause of RAP beyond santorinicele (2 patients had post-sphincterotomy stenosis, 1 patient was a chronic consumer of alcohol, 1 patient had a mutation in the CFTR gene, and 1 patient had a side-branch intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm).


EMPS is effective in reducing the incidence of pancreatitis in patients with santorinicele.

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