Effect of Physician Training on Fluoroscopy Time During ERCP

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Our purpose was to compare fluoroscopy time during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) between endoscopists with different levels of experience. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of 269 consecutive ERCPs at an academic hospital during 1 year. Median fluoroscopy time was significantly longer in more complex cases, such as in therapeutic (406.5 s [IQR, 235.5–685]) compared to diagnostic (202 s [IQR, 141–481]; P = 0.002) procedures. The experience (number of prior ERCPs) of gastroenterology fellows involved in procedures was an independent predictor of shorter fluoroscopy time when controlling for patient and procedure characteristics (P < 0.0001). Median fluoroscopy time was 2.73 min shorter after at least 50 procedures had been performed (P = 0.039). Time for ERCPs involving fellows was not significantly longer than cases by attending physicians alone (P = 0.23). Increased experience is associated with lower radiation exposure during ERCP training. Radiation reduction methods should be prospectively investigated and integrated into training programs.

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