Endoscopic papillary large balloon dilation (EPLBD) with endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST) has been widely used as the alternative to EST along with endoscopic mechanical lithotripsy (EML) for the removal of large or difficult bile duct stones. Furthermore, EPLBD without EST was recently introduced as its simplified alternative technique. Thus, we systematically searched PubMed, Medline, the Cochrane Library and EMBASE, and analyzed all gathered data of EPLBD with and without EST, respectively, by using a single standardized definition, reviewing relevant literatures, published between 2003 and June 2013, where it was performed with large-diameter balloons (12-20 mm). The outcomes, including the initial success rate, the rate of needs for EML, and the overall success rate, and adverse events were assessed in each and compared between both of two procedures: “EPLBD with EST” and “EPLBD without EST”. A total of 2511 procedures from 30 published articles were included in EPLBD with EST, while a total of 413 procedures from 3 published articles were included in EPLBD without EST. In the results of outcomes, the overall success rate was 96.5% in EPLBD with EST and 97.2% in EPLBD without EST, showing no significant difference between both of them. The initial success rate (84.0% vs 76.2%, P < 0.001) and the success rate of EPLBD without EML (83.2% vs 76.7%, P = 0.001) was significantly higher, while the rate of use of EML was significantly lower (14.1% vs 21.6%, P < 0.001), in EPLBD with EST. The rate of overall adverse events, pancreatitis, bleeding, perforation, other adverse events, surgery for adverse events, and fatal adverse events were 8.3%, 2.4%, 3.6%, 0.6%, 1.7%, 0.2% and 0.2% in EPLBD with EST and 7.0%, 3.9%, 1.9%, 0.5%, 0.7%, 0% and 0% in EPLBD without EST, respectively, showing no significant difference between both of them. In conclusion, recent accumulated results of EPLBD with or even without EST suggest that it is a safe and effective procedure for the removal of large or difficult bile duct stones without any additional risk of severe adverse events, when performed under appropriate guidelines.