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Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 439320, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Utility and Safety of ERCP in the Elderly: A Comparative Study in Iran

Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Taleghani Hospital, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Parvaneh Avenue, Tabnak Street, Evin, P.O. Box 19835-178, Tehran 1985717413, Iran

Received 20 April 2012; Accepted 27 May 2012

Academic Editor: Jesús García-Cano

Copyright © 2012 Amir Houshang Mohammad Alizadeh 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. The present study sought and compared the utility and safety of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in the elderly and younger people in a great sample of Iranian population. Methods. Our study involved 780 patients undergoing diagnostic and therapeutic ERCP at the Taleghani hospital in Tehran between 2010 and 2011; among them, 558 patients were less than 70 years old and others were 70 years old or older. The patients were prospectively identified and data including clinical and biochemical features, ERCP procedures, ERCP diagnosis, and ERCP complications were gathered on them prospectively. Results. Clinical manifestations were comparable in young and older groups except for hepatosplenomegaly and constipation that were more prevalent in the elderly. Laboratory findings were similar in both groups other than mean levels of alkaline phosphatase, hemoglobin and albumin levels, which were higher in the elderly group. Selective biliary cannulation was technically more successful in the younger than in others (89.0% versus 81.8%). Common bile duct stone was the most frequent diagnosis in both young and older groups (36.6% and 45.9%, resp.), whereas ERCP was reported to be normal in 13.4% of the younger and 5.0% of the elderly patients. Post-ERCP complications were observed in 4.8% of patients aged less than 70 years in comparison with 2.3% of patients aged over 70 years. The most frequent complication was pancreatitis that was significantly more developed in young than older patients (3.6% versus 1.5%; OR: 8.216, ). Conclusion. Diagnostic ERCP is safe and well tolerated in the elderly and even associated with significantly less risk than the younger.