Overall endoscopiC retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) complication rates of 4-10% and mortality rates of 1.5% have been reported. For those patients who fail conservative therapy, a mortality rate of almost 50% has been reported. This has led some authors to recommended early operation in all duodenal perforations. We report two cases of duodenal perforations following endoscopic sphincterotomy. Perforation was suspected immediately post-ERCP in one case and, in the second case, perforation was evident during ERCP and a biliary stent was inserted. Both of the patients were managed conservatively with bowel rest, nasogastric suction, analgesia and intravenous antibiotics. Although abdominal XR and CT showed extensive intraperitoneal and retroperitoneal gas, both of the patients made an uneventful recovery without surgical management. Based on our experience and literature review, routine surgery is not required in patients with duodenal perforations following endoscopic sphincterotomy. Surgery should be considered in any patients with clinical signs of sepsis, abscess or fluid collection in the retroperitoneum or peritoneum, documented ERCP perforation with cholelithiasis, choledocholithiasis or retained hardware. There are currently no strong data to support the benefits of early routine surgery and management should be tailored individually according to the patient's clinical condition and response to therapy.
- Conservative management
- Duodenal perforation
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Endoscopic sphincterotomy
- Surgical therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging