ERCP in Patients With Sickle Cell Disease: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Dilemmas

Hussain Issa, Ali Al-Haddad, Ahmed Al-Salem


Background: Cholestatic jaundice (CJ) in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) poses diagnostic and therapeutic dilemmas. This is an evaluation of the role of ERCP in SCD.

Methods: A total of 224 SCD patients with CJ had ERCP. The indications for ERCP were based on clinical and biochemical evidence of CJ and ultrasound findings.

Results: The indications were: CJ only in79, CJ and dilated ducts in 103, and CJ and biliary stones in 42. The ERCP findings were: (A) For those with CJ only: ERCP was normal in 45, showed dilated ducts with no stones in 13, dilated ducts with stones in 16, normal CBD with a stone in 1; (B) For those with CJ, dilated ducts: ERCP was normal in 17, showed dilated ducts with stones in 47, dilated ducts without stones in 28, normal CBD with a stone in 1, a choledochoduodenal fistula in 2; (C) For those with CJ and duct stones: ERCP was normal in 2, showed dilated ducts with stones in 21, dilated ducts without stones in 14, normal CBD with a stone in 1.

Conclusions: ERCP was unnecessary in a significant number (27%) of patients. This is especially so for those with CJ only (57%). These should be evaluated further prior to ERCP. There was also a significant number (19%) who had ES for duct dilatation without an obstruction. The reason for this dilatation is not known and the value of ES in this group needs to be investigated further.

Gastroenterol Res. 2010;3(2):74-78


Sickle cell disease; Hepatobiliary; Cholestatic jaundice; ERCP

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