Early Endoscopic Sphincterotomy in the Management of Acute Gallstone Pancreatitis in Elderly Patients

Eliahou Shemesh, Abraham Czerniak, Shlomo Schneabaum, Shlomo Nass

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27 Scopus citations


Eighteen elderly patients with acute attacks of gallstone pancreatitis underwent early endoscopic sphincterotomy of the papilla of Water. Eleven patients were considered to be at high risk for surgery due to chronic cardiorespiratory or renal problems. The outcome of these patients was compared with that of 20 consecutive elderly patients with gallstone pancreatitis treated at the same time by means other than endoscopic sphincterotomy. Endoscopic sphincterotomy resulted in an immediate clinical improvement in all patients, except in one patient who developed transient cholangitis; there was no mortality. In contrast, there was one death (5%) and 20% morbidity in the controls. Mean hospitalization period was shorter in patients undergoing sphincterotomy (6 compared with 9.5 days), although the patients managed by sphincterotomy were initially more seriously ill than controls. Only two of the 11 high‐risk patients underwent elective cholecystectomy; all others were well during a mean follow‐up of 22 months. It is concluded that early endoscopic sphincterotomy is highly effective and safe in acute attacks of gallstone pancreatitis in elderly high‐risk patients. 1990 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-896
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes


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