Published online Dec 7, 2007. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i45.5971
Revised: September 12, 2007
Accepted: October 21, 2007
Published online: December 7, 2007
The role of endoscopic therapy in the management of pancreatic diseases is continuously evolving; at present most pathological conditions of the pancreas are successfully treated by endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) or endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), or both. Endoscopic placement of stents has played and still plays a major role in the treatment of chronic pancreatitis, pseudocysts, pancreas divisum, main pancreatic duct injuries, pancreatic fistulae, complications of acute pancreatitis, recurrent idiopathic pancreatitis, and in the prevention of post-ERCP pancreatitis. These stents are currently routinely placed to reduce intraductal hypertension, bypass obstructing stones, restore lumen patency in cases with dominant, symptomatic strictures, seal main pancreatic duct disruption, drain pseudocysts or fluid collections, treat symptomatic major or minor papilla sphincter stenosis, and prevent procedure-induced acute pancreatitis. The present review aims at updating and discussing techniques, indications, and results of endoscopic pancreatic duct stent placement in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases of the pancreas.