OBJECTIVE: Therapeutic endoscopy may be effective in selected patients with chronic calcific pancreatitis (CCP). We prospectively evaluated the early outcome of extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) in combination with interventional endoscopy, using broad inclusion criteria. METHODS: A total of 48 consecutive patients (35 male, 13 female) were recruited for ESWL and endoscopic therapy of symptomatic CCP. Symptoms, quality of life, pancreatic morphology and function were assessed before and after SWL. RESULTS: Multiple stones (n = 43), strictures (n = 34), and pancreas divisum (n = 11) were found. A median of 13 ESWL sessions (range 2-74) with a median of 22,100 shockwaves (1,700-150,900) were required. Endoscopic pancreatic sphincterotomy (n = 48), stricture dilation (n = 12), and/or stenting (n = 27) were performed. After therapy, drainage of the pancreatic duct system was achieved in 36, complete stone clearance in 21 patients. Follow-up (n = 38) at 7 months (range 5-9) showed a significant decrease in pancreatic duct diameter (p < 0.001) and pain score (p < 0.0001) whereas complete pain relief was observed in 45% of cases. Several quality of life scores improved significantly. Weight gain occurred in 68% of patients. Normalization of fasting blood glucose and HbA1c levels were observed in four patients, without modifying their treatment. Improvement in pain score correlated with weight gain and decrease in pancreatic duct diameter. Nonalcoholic etiology was associated with a better chance for improvement in pain score and decrease in pancreatic duct diameter. The presence of strictures did not deteriorate the clinical outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Besides pain relief, ESWL in combination with interventional endoscopy resulted in pancreatic ductal decompression, weight gain, and improvement in quality of life in a considerable number of patients with advanced CCP. (C) 2000 by Am. Coll. of Gastroenterology.
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