Endoscopic sphincterotomy has a higher risk of bleeding in patients with cirrhosis. Advanced Child stage and coagulopathy are well-known risk factors. We aimed to determine the role of electrosurgical currents in the development of endoscopic sphincterotomy bleeding in cirrhotic patients.
The study was a retrospective observational study and included 19,642 patients who underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography between 2004 and 2013. The incidence of endoscopic sphincterotomy bleeding in cirrhotic patients who underwent sphincterotomy after 2009 with an electrosurgical generator applying alternating current in the pulse cut mode (Group 2) was compared with a historical control group who underwent endoscopic sphincterotomy between 2004 and 2009 via blended current (Group 1).
Group 1 included 15 patients (six women, nine men, mean age: 62.2 ± 12.9 years). Group 2 included 14 patients (six women, eight men, mean age: 63.6 ± 16.9 years). There was no statistically significant difference between the demographic and clinical characteristics of the two groups. Endoscopic sphincterotomy bleeding was observed in three patients in Group 1 (two endoscopic bleeding and one clinically significant bleeding) and none of the patients in Group 2 (p = 0.77). There were no cases of perforation or pancreatitis in both groups. One patient in Group 2 developed cholangitis.
Endoscopic sphincterotomy bleeding is less frequently observed in patients with cirrhosis who underwent sphincterotomy with alternating mixed current in the pulse cut mode compared with those with blended current.