Endoscopy 2007; 39(9): 802-806
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-966724
Original article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Case series of transpancreatic septotomy as precutting technique for difficult bile duct cannulation

D.  Kapetanos1 , G.  Kokozidis1 , D.  Christodoulou2 , K.  Mistakidis1 , K.  Dimakopoulos1 , E.  Katodritou1 , G.  Kitis1 , E.  V.  Tsianos2
  • 1Gastroenterology Department, George Papanikolaou Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 21st Division of Internal Medicine, Hepato-Gastroenterology Unit and Therapeutic Endoscopy Unit, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Greece
Further Information

Publication History

submitted 13 February 2007

accepted after revision 12 June 2007

Publication Date:
17 August 2007 (online)

Background and study aims: Transpancreatic septotomy can be used instead of other precut techniques to facilitate bile duct cannulation after multiple failed attempts. Within the framework of a prospective randomized study on pentoxifylline, precut cases were retrospectively analyzed.

Patients and methods: Of 320 endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographies (ERCPs) in 306 patients with various indications who had a naïve papilla, 34 cases of transpancreatic septotomy were identified and compared with 15 needle-knife sphincterotomies; six patients had received both techniques for bile duct access. Complications were defined according to consensus criteria.

Results: In the 55 patients in whom precutting techniques were employed, the use of both techniques alone or in combination resulted in a final common bile duct cannulation rate of 81.8 %. Five patients developed complications (9.1 %). Of the two cases of pancreatitis (3.6 %), one was mild and one severe (combined group). Of the three cases with hemorrhage, one was mild (transpancreatic septotomy) and two severe (needle knife). In patients who underwent conventional pull-type sphincterotomy (n = 242), 6.2 % developed complications (nine pancreatitis and six hemorrhage).

Conclusion: In cases of difficult bile duct cannulation, transpancreatic septotomy seems to be a safe alternative to needle-knife precutting with reasonable success rates. It should be studied in prospective randomized trials.


D. Kapetanos, MD

George Papanikolaou Hospital

Gastroenterology Department


Greece 57010

Fax: +30-2310-359217

Email: dkapetan@otenet.gr