Pancreatic fluid collections can form after episodes of pancreatitis, either acute or chronic. The majority will resolve spontaneously but when decompression is mandated, endoscopic drainage is the method of choice. However, it is not void of complications.
We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 65 patients who underwent endoscopic drainage of pancreatic fluid collections in our institution. The primary outcomes examined included the incidence and type of complications associated with the endoscopic approach.
Endoscopic ultrasound was utilized in 86.2% and transgastric approach was used in 81.5% of the cases. The complication rate was 17%. Specifically, complications recorded were infection (6%), perforation and acute abdomen necessitating surgical intervention (4.6%), pneumoperitoneum that was managed nonoperatively (3%), upper gastrointestinal bleed in the knife puncture site that resolved spontaneously (1.5%), and stent migration (1.5%). One patient died remotely to the endoscopic drainage after paracentesis of ascites that resulted in hemorrhagic shock.
This study is one of the largest studies reporting the associated morbidity and mortality after endoscopic cyst-gastrostomy. Major and minor complications occurred at a rate of 17% in our study. Endoscopic approach is a safe draining method and should remain the approach of choice for pancreatic fluid collection decompression.