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Keywords:

  • biliary stent;
  • common bile duct (CBD) stones;
  • endoscopic sphincterotomy;
  • ursodeoxycholic acid

Abstract

Background and Aim

We investigated the patency rate of a biliary stent and the effects of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) therapy and endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST) for difficult-to-remove common bile duct stones.

Method

A total of 63 endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographies (ERCPs) were performed in 36 patients (mean age, 86.0 years; male–female, 17:19) for stenting. Among the 63 subjects, 28 were further treated with EST; 20, with UDCA therapy; and 43, without UDCA therapy.

Results

The mean patency time was significantly longer in the UDCA treatment group (1,012 days) than in the “stent without UDCA” group (354 days; P = 0.0002; hazard ratio, 0.253). The mean patency time was significantly longer in the patients who had stent placement with EST (1074 days) than in those who had stent placement without EST (279 days; P = 0.001; hazard ratio, 0.439). The mean patency time was significantly longer in the patients who had stent placement with UDCA therapy and EST (1211 days) than in the patients who had stent placement with either UDCA therapy or EST (425 days; P = 0.031; hazard ratio, 0.3292). The mean patency time was significantly longer in the patients who had stent placement with either UDCA therapy or EST than in those who had stent placement without UDCA therapy or EST (263 days; P = 0.0465; hazard ratio, 0.5124).

Conclusion

Biliary stenting combined with UDCA therapy and EST may be considered as an effective treatment method for cases of common bile duct stones in elderly patients that are difficult to remove.