EUS-guided Versus Percutaneous Gallbladder Drainage: Isn’t It Time to Convert?

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Background and Aims:

Endoscopic ultrasound–guided drainage (EUS-GLB) is a minimally invasive option for patients with cholecystitis who are poor surgical candidates. Compared with percutaneous drainage (PC-GLB), earlier studies have demonstrated similar efficacy with improved quality of life. We present a multicenter, international experience comparing PC-GLB and EUS-GLB in nonsurgical patients with cholecystitis.


All patients who underwent either PC-GLB drainage or EUS-GLB drainage from 7 centers between January 2010 and December 2015 were included. Technical success was defined as successful placement of a catheter or stent into the gallbladder. Clinical success was defined as resolution of clinical symptoms after intervention. Adverse events, length of stay, and the need for repeat interventions and/or hospitalizations were recorded for all patients.


A total of 155 patients were included (mean age 74±14.24 y; range, 31 to 96; 56% male). Forty-two patients underwent EUS-GLB and 113 patients underwent PC-GLB. Technical success was achieved in 40 patients (95%) in the EUS-GLB group and 112 patients (99%) in the PC-GLB group (P=0.179). Clinical success was achieved in 40 patients (95%) in the EUS-GLB group and 97 patients (86%) in the PC-GLB group (P=0.157). There was no difference in hospital readmission rates between the 2 groups (14% vs. 24%; P=0.194). However, there was significantly higher number of patients requiring repeat interventions in the PC-GLB group (n=28, 24%) compared with the EUS-GLB group (n=4, 10%) (P=0.037). There was no difference in adverse events between the 2 groups.


EUS-GLB is safe and efficacious, with comparable technical and clinical success rates and no difference in adverse events. In addition, EUS-GLB offers a potential cost-saving benefit and morbidity benefit by demonstrating a decreased number of repeat interventions.

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