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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2016, Article ID 5132052, 6 pages
Research Article

Factors and Outcomes Associated with MRCP Use prior to ERCP in Patients at High Risk for Choledocholithiasis

1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, USA
2Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1830 E. Monument Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
3Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2024 E. Monument Street, Room 2-612, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA

Received 10 September 2015; Accepted 1 November 2015

Copyright © 2016 Gobind Anand et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Consensus guidelines recommend that patients at high risk for choledocholithiasis undergo endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) without additional imaging. This study evaluates factors and outcomes associated with performing magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) prior to ERCP among patients at high risk for choledocholithiasis. Methods. An institutional administrative database was searched using diagnosis codes for choledocholithiasis, cholangitis, and acute pancreatitis and procedure codes for MRCP and ERCP. Patients categorized as high risk for choledocholithiasis were evaluated. Results. 224 patients classified as high risk, of whom 176 (79%) underwent ERCP only, while 48 (21%) underwent MRCP prior to ERCP. Patients undergoing MRCP experienced longer time to ERCP (72 hours versus 35 hours, ), longer length of stay (8 days versus 6 days, ), higher hospital charges (23,488 versus 19,260, ), and higher radiology charges (3,385 versus 1,711, ). The presence of common bile duct stone(s) on ultrasound was the only independent factor associated with less use of MRCP (OR 0.09, ). Conclusions. MRCP use prior to ERCP in patients at high risk for choledocholithiasis is common and associated with greater length of hospital stay, higher radiology charges, and a trend towards higher hospital charges.