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World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy





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AIM To investigate indications and outcomes of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in cirrhotics, especially adverse events. Patients with cirrhosis undergoing ERCP are believed to have increased risk. However, there is a paucity of literature describing the indications and outcomes of ERCP procedures in patients with cirrhosis, especially focusing on adverse events. METHODS We performed a systematic appraisal of major literature databases, including PubMed and EMBASE, with a manual search of literature from their inception until April 2017. RESULTS A total of 6,505 patients from 15 studies were analyzed (male ratio 59%, mean age 59 years), 11% with alcoholic and 89% with non-alcoholic cirrhosis, with 56.2% Child-Pugh class A, and 43.8% class B or C. Indications for ERCP included choledocholithiasis 60.9%, biliary strictures 26.2%, gallstone pancreatitis 21.1% and cholangitis 15.5%. Types of interventions included endoscopic sphincterotomy 52.7%, biliary stenting 16.7% and biliary dilation 4.6%. Individual adverse events included hemorrhage in 4.58% (95%CI: 2.77-6.75%, I2 = 85.9%), post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP) in 3.68% (95%CI: 1.83-6.00%, I2 = 89.5%), cholangitis in 1.93% (95%CI: 0.63-3.71%, I2 = 87.1%) and perforation in 0.00% (95%CI: 0.00-0.23%, I2 = 37.8%). Six studies were used for comparison of ERCP-related complications in cirrhosis vs non-cirrhosis, which showed higher overall rates of complications in cirrhosis patients with pooled OR of 1.63 (95%CI: 1.27-2.09, I2 = 65%): higher rates of hemorrhage with OR of 2.05 (95%CI: 1.62-2.58, I2 = 2.1%) and PEP with OR of 1.33 (95%CI: 1.04-1.70, I2=65%), but similar cholangitis rates with OR of 1.23 (95%CI: 0.67-2.26, I2 = 44.3%). CONCLUSION There is an overall higher rate of adverse events related to ERCP in patients with cirrhosis, especially hemorrhage and PEP. A thorough risk/benefit assessment should be performed prior to undertaking ERCP in patients with cirrhosis.


Meta-analysis; Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; Systematic review; Adverse events; Cirrhosis



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