Endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC) is a well-established modality for diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers in pancreaticobiliary disorders. However, it is technically more challenging in patients with postsurgical anatomy like Roux-en-Y anastomoses. Its effectiveness in post-orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) patients with Roux-en-Y biliary reconstruction has not been reported. We sought to assess the efficacy and safety of ERC in this patient population. A total of 132 OLTs with Roux-en-Y biliary reconstruction were performed at our institution from June 1998 to August 2005. Data from consenting patients who underwent ERC were reviewed once they were identified through computerized medical index system. Of 132 OLT patients with Roux-en-Y biliary reconstruction, 31 patients (9 female and 22 male subjects ranging in age from 11 months to 70 years) underwent ERC. The indication for liver transplant was end-stage liver disease or occurrence of cholangiocarcinoma from primary sclerosing cholangitis in 28 patients and a case each of chronic hepatitis C, alcoholic liver disease, and metastatic islet cell carcinoma. A variable-stiffness pediatric colonoscope was used in most cases. ERC indications were both diagnostic and therapeutic and included the following: evaluation of increased liver biochemistries and fever in 12 patients, dilation of anastomotic biliary strictures in 10 patients, removal of fractured biliary tube or retained biliary stent in 6 patients, and in 1 patient each, biliary stone removal, management of bile leak, and jejunal tube extension placement for nutritional purpose. ERC was successful in 22 patients (71%). There were no postprocedural complications. Although ERC is technically more difficult and time-consuming in OLT patients with Roux-en-Y anastomoses, these data suggest that ERC is an effective and safe diagnostic and therapeutic modality with few or no complications when performed by experienced endoscopists. ERC was successful in most patients and allowed therapeutic interventions that obviated the need for percutaneous radiological intervention or surgery.
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