Reply to Letter: Can Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Prevent Recurrent Idiopathic Acute Pancreatitis?
As the corresponding author of our article by Räty et al,1 I would like to respond.
We admit that one drawback of our diagnostic work-up was that we did not perform endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) to detect more reliably small gallstones or biliary sludge. Half of our centers were central hospitals in Finland with no possibility to perform EUS. This is the case for most nonacademic hospitals worldwide. This is clearly stated and admitted in the discussion of our article.1
We are continuing to follow up the patients of this trial and we will publish 5-year results later. We are now performing EUS when it is possible. The number of patients with recurrences in both study groups will be reported later as well. Till now, only two patients with gallstones have had recurrence. After stopping the study, not all patients were operated by laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Each study center performed block randomization and study nurses/researches were blinded of the patient's treatment. We agree that more studies with more randomized patients are needed to confirm the results of our trial.