Placement of prophylactic pancreatic stents (PPS) is a method proven to reduce the rate and severity of postendoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) pancreatitis (PEP) in high-risk patients; however, PPS do not eliminate the risk completely. Early PPS dislodgement may occur prematurely and contribute to more frequent or severe PEP.
To determine the effect of early dislodgement of PPS in patients with moderate or severe PEP.
A total of 27,176 ERCP procedures from January 1994 to September 2007 for PPS placement in high-risk patients were analyzed. Patient and procedure data were analyzed to assess risk factors for PEP, and to evaluate the severity of pancreatitis, length of hospitalization and subsequent complications. Timing of stent dislodgment was assessed radiographically.
PPS were placed in 7661 patients. Of these, 580 patients (7.5%) developed PEP, which was graded as mild in 460 (6.0%), moderate in 87 (1.1%) and severe in 33 (0.4%). Risk factors for developing PEP were not different in patients who developed moderate PEP compared with those with severe PEP. PPS dislodged before 72 h in seven of 59 (11.9%) patients with moderate PEP and five of 27 (18.5%) patients with severe PEP (P=0.505). The mean (± SD) length of hospitalization in patients with moderate PEP with stent dislodgement before and after 72 h were 7.43±1.46 days and 8.37±1.16 days, respectively (P=0.20). The mean length of hospitalization in patients with severe PEP whose stent dislodged before and after 72 h were 21.6±6.11 and 22.23±3.13 days, respectively (P=0.96).
Early PPS dislodgement was associated with moderate and severe PEP in less than 20% of cases and was not associated with a more severe course. Factors other than ductal obstruction contribute to PEP in high-risk patients undergoing ERCP and PPS placement.