Theodor Voiosu, Andrei Voiosu, Andreea Benguş and Bogdan Mateescu
Background. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography has evolved significantly in recent years. The increase in complexity and range of applications has not been adequately reflected in an improvement of training methods for ERCP, with many endoscopists failing to meet required performance standards during their training period and limited available data on their performance immediately after completing training. We aimed to analyze the performance of an independent operator from a developing country after the completion of formal training with regard to procedure and patient-related outcomes.
Methods. We conducted an observational study of ERCPs performed by a young endoscopist from a referral center. Data about the procedure, cannulation technique (including use of precut), trainee involvement and procedure-related outcomes was retrieved and analyzed from a prospectively maintained database on quality in ERCP (the QUASIE initiative).
Results. Data from 679 consecutive ERCPs conducted or supervised by one endoscopist with < 200 independent procedures prior to the study period were included in the final analysis. Cannulation rates significantly improved over time, from 90% to 96% (p = 0.016). Use of precut techniques changed significantly over time, with an initial increase followed by a subsequent decrease as overall cannulation rates improved. Trainee involvement was significantly associated with prolonged cannulation times (p = 0.003) and use of precut (p = 0.001), but did not impact on technical success or patient safety.
Conclusions. Independent practice of ERCP after the training period is characterized by ongoing changes in technique, especially with regard to cannulation and use of precut, showing significant improvements in performance over time.
Theodor Voiosu, Andrei Voiosu, Andreea Benguş, Mihai Rimbaş and Bogdan Mateescu
Background and aims. Selective cannulation of the desired duct is a key element in ERCP procedures and an important step in the training of fellows. However, there is limited data about technical success and patient safety for ERCPs conducted in a training setting.We aimed to evaluate the impact of trainee involvement on the cannulation technique and procedure related outcomes at ERCP.
Materials and methods. We conducted an observational study of all ERCP conducted in an endoscopy unit with an on-going training program. Patient related data and procedure-related data (method of cannulation, time to cannulation, degree of trainee involvement, technical success and procedure-related adverse events) were collected using a standard form. The method of cannulation, time to cannulation and procedure-related adverse events were compared between ERCPs with trainee involvement and those without.
Results. 641 consecutive ERCPs were evaluated and 474 native papilla cases performed by 4 trainers and 3 trainees were included in the final analysis. Trainees were involved in 171 procedures (36.1%), achieving cannulation of the desired duct in 50.8% of the cases. Cannulation rates were similar in the trainee group compared to the control group (91.7% vs. 88.7%) and there was no increase in the rate of adverse events. However, cannulation time was significantly longer in the trainee group with a significant increase in the rate of precut use (32.1% vs. 23.4%, p < 0.001).
Conclusions. Trainee involvement resulted in longer cannulation times and increased use of precut sphincterotomy, but, was not associated with an increased risk of procedure related adverse events.
Theodor Alexandru Voiosu, Andrada Viorela Gheorghe, Dan Adrian Bobeica, Andrei Mihai Voiosu and Radu Bogdan Mateescu
Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) is frequently congenital and requires surgical correction. TEF can also occur secondary to malignant esophageal tumors or benign diseases and these cases are managed by endoscopic means, such as closing the defect with metallic stents. Although esophageal injury can occur secondary to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), TEF secondary to chronic NSAIDs use has not been described in the literature.
We report the case of a male patient with refractory migraine and chronic use of NSAIDs, with a history of esophageal stenosis presenting with acute-onset total dysphagia. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and CT-scan revealed TEF located at 25 cm from the incisors. An esophageal stent was placed endoscopically, and 6 weeks a second stent was placed in a stent-in-stent manner to allow removal of both stents. Endoscopic control after the removal of the stents showed the persistence of the fistula, so a third stent was placed as a rescue therapy.
Against medical advice, the patient continued to use OTC painkillers and NSAIDs in large doses. Three months later, he was readmitted with total dysphagia and recent-onset dysphonia. CT scan revealed a new fistula above the already placed stent. A second metallic stent was endoscopically placed through the old stent to close the newly developed fistula. The patient was discharged on the third day with no complications and he remains well at 6 months follow-up.
Due to small cases studies, recurrent TEF remains a therapeutic challenge. Endoscopic therapy is usually an effective solution, but complex cases might require multiple treatment sessions.
Andrei Mihai Voiosu, Paul Bălănescu, Ioana Daha, Bianca Smarandache, Aurelia Rădoi, Radu Bogdan Mateescu, Cristian Răsvan Băicuş and Theodor Alexandru Voiosu
Background. We aimed to determine the relationship between endocan and cirrhotic cardiomyopathy.
Materials and methods. Patients with liver cirrhosis and no heart disease were included in a prospective observational study with liver disease decompensation and death as primary outcomes.
Results. 83 cirrhotic patients were included and 32 had cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. Endocan levels were significantly lower in patients with cirrhotic cardiomyopathy (5.6 vs. 7 ng/mL, p = 0.034). Endocan correlated with severity of cirrhosis, time to decompensation or death from liver disease (OR 4.5 95% CI 1.06-31.1).
Conclusion. Endocan is a promising biomarker of severity of cirrhosis and may help in the diagnosis of cardiac dysfunction in this population.