Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is safe and effective for the diagnosis and treatment of pancreaticobiliary disease following abdominal organ transplant in children

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Pediatric Transplantation








endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; pediatrics; transplantation


ERCP is a diagnostic and therapeutic imaging modality widely used in adult pancreaticobiliary disease, including the treatment of anastomotic strictures following liver and small bowel transplant. We have previously reported a large series of ERCP in children and demonstrated its safety and utility in pediatric disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety of and indications for ERCP following abdominal organ transplant among pediatric patients by performing a subgroup analysis of our large cohort. Forty-eight ERCPs were performed on 25 children ages 62 days to 20 yr following isolated liver, isolated small bowel, or composite graft transplant. Mean time from transplantation at the time of ERCP was 18 months. The most common indication for ERCP was the evaluation of non-specific hepatobiliary complaints, including abdominal pain and elevated liver enzymes. ERCP was also commonly performed for the evaluation or treatment of known or suspected biliary tree strictures. Seventy-seven percent of cases included therapeutic intervention, including sphincterotomy in 40%, stent placement in 29%, and stone extraction in 19%. The overall complication rate among post-transplant patients was low (2.9%) and not significantly different than the complication rate reported in our previous study. A history of abdominal organ transplant was not associated with an increased risk of complication following ERCP (OR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.05-3.33). In our experience, ERCP can be safely performed in children following liver, small bowel, and composite graft transplant with outcomes similar to those seen in a general pediatric population and may be especially useful for the diagnosis and treatment for biliary strictures following transplant. Further investigation of the relationship between the timing of ERCP relative to transplant and the safety of the procedure is needed. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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