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.