Early double-guidewire versus repeated single-guidewire technique to facilitate selective bile duct cannulation: a randomized controlled trial


Background: During endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), access to the common bile duct (CBD) can be problematic after unintentional insertion of the guidewire into the pancreatic duct. We conducted a prospective, randomized study in order to compare biliary cannulation success rates of early double-guidewire (EDG) and repeated single-guidewire (RSG) techniques in patients with inadvertent passage of the guidewire into the pancreatic duct.

Methods: Patients with a native papilla were randomly assigned to either the EDG or RSG groups after unintentional insertion of the guidewire into the pancreatic duct. The primary outcome was successful selective CBD cannulation within 10 minutes. The secondary outcomes were successful final selective bile duct cannulation, time to bile duct cannulation, and frequency of post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP).

Results: 142 patients were randomized and selective bile duct cannulation was achieved in 57/68 patients (84 %) in the EDG group and in 37/74 patients (50 %) in the RSG group within 10 minutes (relative risk 1.34; 95 % confidence interval 1.08-6.18; P < 0.001). The overall final selective bile duct cannulation rate was 99.3 %. The time to access the CBD was shorter using the EDG technique (6.0 vs. 10.4 minutes; P = 0.002). Mild PEP was not observed more frequently in the EDG group than in the RSG group.

Conclusion: The EDG technique significantly increased the success rate of biliary duct cannulation within 10 minutes compared with an RSG approach.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03582540.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.