Endoscopy 2008; 40(4): 302-307
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-995483
Original article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

A comparative study of standard ERCP catheter and hydrophilic guide wire in the selective cannulation of the common bile duct

P.  Katsinelos1 , G.  Paroutoglou2 , J.  Kountouras3 , G.  Chatzimavroudis1 , C.  Zavos3 , I.  Pilpilidis1 , G.  Tzelas2 , G.  Tzovaras2
  • 1Department of Endoscopy and Motility Unit, Central Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital, Larissa, Greece
  • 3Department of Gastroenterology, Second Medical Clinic, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Ippokration Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
Further Information

Publication History

submitted 3 July 2007

accepted after revision 11 October 2007

Publication Date:
19 February 2008 (online)

Background and study aims: Deep cannulation of the common bile duct (CBD) is paramount for the success of endoscopic biliary intervention. The aim of the present study was to compare standard ERCP catheter and hydrophilic guide wire (HGW) in the selective cannulation of the CBD.

Patients and methods: A total of 332 patients were randomly assigned to cannulation with a standard catheter (n = 165) or a HGW (n = 167). If cannulation had not succeeded after 10 minutes with the technique assigned at randomization, a further attempt was made for an additional 10 minutes using the alternative technique. The following were assessed: primary and overall selective cannulation, time to cholangiography, number of pancreatic opacifications and guide-wire pancreatic duct insertions, and complication rates.

Results: The primary success rate of selective CBD cannulation was higher in the HGW (81.4 %) than in the standard catheter group (53.9 %; P < 0.001). The overall cannulation rate after crossover was comparable between the two groups (standard catheter 84 % vs. HGW 83.8 %; P = 0.19). Time required for primary selective CBD cannulation was 3.53 ± 0.32 minutes in the standard catheter vs. 4.48 ± 0.32 minutes in the HGW group (P = 0.04), and the number of insertions of the guide wire into the pancreatic duct was 3.29 ± 0.47 in the standard catheter vs. 2.7 ± 0.21 in the HGW group (P = 0.22). Pancreatic opacifications occurred 3.19 ± 0.20 times in the standard catheter vs. 1.50 ± 0.22 times in the HGW group (P < 0.001). Precut techniques were used in 56 patients (16.9 %) (n = 31 in the standard catheter vs. n = 25 in the HGW group; P = 0.07). The frequency of postinterventional pancreatitis and hemorrhage did not differ between the two groups. A young woman developed post-ERCP hemolytic crisis due to glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. There was no procedure-related mortality.

Conclusions: The use of HGW, as primary technique or as a secondary technique after failure of cannulation with a standard catheter, achieves a high rate of selective CBD cannulation.


P. Katsinelos, MD

Department of Endoscopy and Motility Unit

Central Hospital

Ethnikis Aminis 41

546 35 Thessaloniki


Fax: + 30-2310-210401

Email: gchatzimav@yahoo.gr