Published online Dec 14, 2007. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i46.6127
Revised: August 28, 2007
Accepted: October 26, 2007
Published online: December 14, 2007
Treatment of chronic pancreatitis has been exclusively surgical for a long time. Recently, endoscopic therapy has become widely used as a primary therapeutic option. Initially performed for drainage of pancreatic cysts and pseudocysts, endoscopic treatments were adapted to biliary and pancreatic ducts stenosis. Pancreatic sphincterotomy which allows access to pancreatic ducts was firstly reported. Secondly, endoscopic methods of stenting, dilatation, and stones extraction of the bile ducts were applied to pancreatic ducts. Nevertheless, new improvements were necessary: failures of pancreatic stone extraction justified the development of extra-corporeal shock wave lithotripsy; dilatation of pancreatic stenosis was improved by forage with a new device; moreover endosonography allowed guidance for celiac block, gastro-cystostomy, duodeno-cystostomy and pancreatico-gastrostomy. Although endoscopic treatments are more and more frequently accepted, indications are still debated.