Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography Decreases All-Cause and Pancreatitis Readmissions in Patients With Acute Gallstone Pancreatitis Who Do Not Undergo Cholecystectomy: A Nationwide 5-Year Analysis

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Abstract

Objectives

Cholecystectomy is the definitive management of gallstone pancreatitis (GSP). The benefit of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in patients who do not undergo cholecystectomy remains unclear. This study aims to evaluate the effect of ERCP on all-cause and pancreatitis readmissions in GSP.

Methods

Adult hospitalizations for GSP in the 2010–2014 National Readmissions Database were divided into the following 3 groups: (1) no cholecystectomy nor ERCP, (2) no cholecystectomy with ERCP, and (3) cholecystectomy group. A multivariable Cox model was used to compare the 60-day readmission rates controlling for significant confounders.

Results

There were 153,480 GSP admissions, 29.2% did not undergo cholecystectomy or ERCP, 12.0 % underwent ERCP only, and 58.8% had cholecystectomy. In the no cholecystectomy group, ERCP was associated with lower all-cause readmissions (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.76–0.83; P < 0.0001) and pancreatitis readmissions rate (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.47–0.55; P < 0.0001) compared with no ERCP. The protective effect of ERCP remained significant in severe pancreatitis. Cholecystectomy had the strongest protective effect against readmissions.

Conclusions

In this large, nationally representative sample, ERCP was associated with reduced readmissions in patients with GSP who did not undergo cholecystectomy. Although cholecystectomy remains the most important intervention to prevent readmissions, these results support performing ERCP in patients unfit for surgery.

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