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Single-session endoscopic ultrasound-guided gallbladder drainage combined with ERCP for acute cholecystitis and choledocholithiasis in a nonsurgical patient
A 93-year-old man with a recent history of acute coronary syndrome presented with upper right abdominal pain and jaundice. Laboratory analysis showed leukocytosis, elevated C-reactive protein, hypertransaminasemia, and cholestasis (total bilirubin 4.39 mg/dL, alkaline phosphatase 137 U/L, and γ-glutamyltransferase 287 U/L). Abdominal ultrasonography revealed acute cholecystitis with a dilated common bile duct.
The patient was not a surgical candidate. A comprehensive endoscopic approach was offered, combining endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with endoscopic ultrasound-guided gallbladder drainage (EUS-GBD) with a lumen-apposing metal stent (LAMS) in the same session.
First, ERCP was performed. After selective biliary cannulation and endoscopic sphincterotomy, an impacted stone was removed. A small amount of pus drained. Final cholangiogram showed no residual stones and absence of gallbladder filling ([Fig. 1]). Initially, transpapillary gallbladder drainage was attempted, but it was impossible to advance a guidewire through the cystic duct into the gallbladder.
EUS-guided cholecystogastrostomy was performed in tandem. EUS identified a distended gallbladder with gallstones. Gallbladder drainage was achieved by placing a 15-mm × 10-mm electrocautery-enhanced LAMS (Hot Axios; Boston Scientific, Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA) with freehand technique. After stent placement, a large amount of pus drained into the stomach from the gallbladder ([Fig. 2]). The echoendoscope was exchanged for a gastroscope. The LAMS was dilated with a 12-mm balloon. The gastroscope was then advanced into the gallbladder, showing multiple stones. The gallstones were removed with a Roth net snare, irrigation, and suction. Final cholecystoscopy showed a clean gallbladder ([Fig. 3]; [Video 1]). Complete procedure time (including ERCP and EUS-GBD) was 40 min. The patient improved rapidly, starting oral feeding on day 1. His liver function tests normalized and he was discharged on day 2 without adverse events.
Video 1 Endoscopic ultrasound-guided gallbladder drainage combined with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in the same session.
EUS-GBD is an effective and safe technique for the treatment of acute cholecystitis in high-risk patients  and represents an alternative to percutaneous cholecystostomy without the morbidity and inconvenience of external drain placement . When acute cholecystitis coexists with choledocholithiasis in patients unfit to undergo surgery, a single-step procedure performed with ERCP plus EUS-GBD with a LAMS has a high technical and clinical success rate when performed by experienced endoscopists, with low complication and reintervention rates .
In conclusion, this case demonstrates a successful dual endoscopic approach to biliary stone disease in a single-session combined procedure, in a patient unfit for surgery, avoiding external drainage, potentially simplifying logistics, and saving hospitalization costs.
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01 October 2020 (online)
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- 1 Teoh AYB, Perez-Miranda M, Kunda R. et al. Outcomes of an international multicenter registry on EUS-guided gallbladder drainage in patients at high risk for cholecystectomy. Endosc Int Open 2019; 7: E964-E973
- 2 Ahmed O, Rogers AC, Bolger JC. et al. Meta-analysis of outcomes of endoscopic ultrasound-guided gallbladder drainage versus percutaneous cholecystostomy for the management of acute cholecystitis. Surg Endosc 2018; 32: 1627-1635
- 3 Torres Yuste R, Garcia-Alonso FJ, Sanchez-Ocana R. et al. Safety and efficacy of endoscopic ultrasound-guided gallbladder drainage combined with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in the same session. Dig Endosc 2020; 32: 608-615