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  • Author: Bogdan Mateescu x
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Trainee involvement increases precut rates and delays access to the common bile duct without an increase in procedure-related adverse events: a brave new world of ERCP training?


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.

Open access
ERCP practice beyond the training period – bridging the gap between guidelines and real-life practice: a single operator experience of 679 procedures


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.

Open access
Is the use of AGILE patency capsule prior to videocapsule endoscopy useful in all patients with spondyloarthritis?


Background and aims. As already known, spondyloarthritis patients present a striking resemblance in intestinal inflammation with early Crohn’s disease. Moreover, the frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is an important part of their treatment. Both conditions could lead to intestinal stenoses. Therefore we proposed to investigate the usefulness of the patency capsule test in patients with spondyloarthritis.

Material and methods. 64 consecutive patients (33 males; mean age 38 ± 11 years) that fulfilled the AMOR criteria for seronegative spondyloarthropathy (59.4% ankylosing spondylitis) lacking symptoms or signs of intestinal stenosis were enrolled and submitted to an AGILE™ capsule patency test followed by a video capsule endoscopy (PillCam SB2™), as part of a protocol investigating the presence of intestinal inflammatory lesions. After reviewing the VCE recordings, the Lewis score (of small bowel inflammatory involvement) was computed.

Results. In only 5 patients (7.8%) of the study group, the luminal patency test was negative. However, there was no retention of the videocapsule in any of the patients. From the 59 patients with a positive patency test, 3 patients presented single small bowel stenoses (two with ulcerated overlying inflamed mucosa, one cicatricial), all being traversed by the videocapsule along the length of the recording. None of the patients with a negative test had bowel stenoses. There was no correlation between the patency test and the Lewis score, the C reactive protein value, diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease, or the family history of spondyloarthritis, psoriasis or inflammatory bowel disease.

Conclusion. The AGILE patency capsule does not seem to be a useful tool for all patients with spondyloarthritis prior to small bowel videocapsule endoscopy ( ID NCT 00768950).

Open access
Endoscopic management of recurrent tracheoesophageal fistula induced by chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: A case report and review of the literature


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.

Open access
Success Rate of Colonoscopies and Reasons That Prevent Procedure Completion - Retrospective Study


Background. Colonoscopy is a common performed procedure in Gastroenterology, and it’s widely used for diagnosis, treatment and surveillance of a wide range of conditions and symptoms. Properly performed, it’s generally safe, more accurate than a virtual colonoscopy and well-tolerated by patients. The completion of a colonoscopy is defined by cecal intubation with the visualization of colonic mucosa and distal terminal ileum when it’s possible.

Patients and methods. We reviewed retrospectively all consecutive endoscopies database of the lower digestive tract, done over a period from 2014-2017 in our clinic. The recommended completion based on the latest guidelines ranges from 90-95% completion rate according to the indication.

Results. 11214 consecutive colonoscopies were done. Overall cecal intubation was successful in 9456 procedures (87.3%). If we exclude the interventional procedures (414 procedures), where cecal intubation was not necessary, the main reasons of non-intubation were due to intolerance of the patients (388 patients), followed on the second place by patients with obstructive cancer (299 patients). The presence of diverticulosis, poor preparation for colonoscopy and post-surgical adhesions were significant findings in non-successful procedures.

Conclusions. In normal daily practice, colonoscopy is completed in 88.01% of the procedures but we think that this result will stimulate the efforts to incorporate more quality measures and time in our endoscopy laboratory.

Open access
The diagnostic and prognostic value of serum endocan in patients with cirrhotic cardiomyopathy


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.

Open access
Nuclear Transcription Factor Kappa B (NF-кB) and Molecular Damage Mechanisms in Acute Cardiovascular Diseases. A Review


Worldwide, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) represent one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality, and acute coronary syndromes are responsible for a large number of sudden cardiac deaths. One of the main challenges that still exist in this area is represented by the early detection and targeted monitoring of the pathophysiology involved in CVDs. During the last couple of years, researchers have highlighted the importance of molecular and epigenetic mechanisms involved in the initiation and augmentation of CVDs, culminating in their most severe form represented by acute myocardial infarction. One of the most studied molecular factors involved in this type of pathology is represented by nuclear transcription factor kappa B (NF-κB), as well as the involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs). It has been suggested that miRNAs can also be involved in the complex process of atheromatous plaque vulnerabilization that leads to an acute cardiac event. In this review paper, we describe the most important molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of CVDs and atheromatous plaque progression and vulnerabilization, which include molecular mechanisms dependent on NF-κB. For this paper, we used international databases (PubMed and Scopus). The keywords used for the search were “miRNAs biomarkers”, “miRNAs in cardiovascular disease”, “NF-κB in cardiovascular disease”, “molecular mechanism in cardiovascular disease”, and “myocardial NF-κB mechanisms”. Numerous molecular reactions that have NF-κB as a trigger are involved in the pathogenesis of CVDs. Moreover, miRNAs play an important role in initiating and aggravating certain segments of CVDs. Therefore, miRNAs can be used as biomarkers for early evaluation of CVDs. Furthermore, in the future, miRNAs could be used as a targeted molecular therapy in order to block certain mechanisms responsible for inducing CVDs and leading to acute cardiovascular events.

Open access