Published online Apr 16, 2010. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v2.i4.130
Revised: April 1, 2010
Accepted: April 8, 2010
Published online: April 16, 2010
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is an important tool in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatobiliary diseases. A critical step in this procedure is deep cannulation of the bile duct as failure of cannulation generally results in an aborted procedure and failed intervention. Expert endoscopists usually achieve a high rate of successful cannulation while those less experienced typically have a much lower rate and a greater incidence of complications. Prolonged attempts at cannulation can result in significant morbidity to patients, anxiety for endoscopists, unnecessary radiation exposure and inefficient patient care. Here we review the most common endoscopic techniques used to achieve selective biliary cannulation. Pharmacologic aids to cannulation are also discussed briefly in this review.