Published online Feb 28, 2012. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i8.794
Revised: June 15, 2011
Accepted: June 22, 2011
Published online: February 28, 2012
AIM: To study the long-term effects of endoscopic sphincterotomy on biliary epithelium.
METHODS: This is a prospective case-control study. A total of 25 patients with a median age of 71 years (range 49-89 years) and prior endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) for benign disease formed the first group. The median time from ES was 42 mo (range 8-144 mo). Another 25 patients with a median age of 76 years (range 44-94 mo) and similar characteristics who underwent current endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and ES for benign disease formed the second group (control group). Brush cytology of the biliary tree with p53 immunocytology was performed in all patients of both groups. ERCPs and recruitment were conducted at the Endoscopic Unit of Aretaieion University Hospital and Tzaneio Hospital, Athens, from October 2006 to June 2010.
RESULTS: No cases were positive or suspicious for malignancy. Epithelial atypia was higher in the first group (32% vs 8% in the second group, P = 0.034). Acute cholangitis and previous biliary operation rates were also higher in the first group (acute cholangitis, 60% vs 24% in the second group, P = 0.01; previous biliary operation, 76% vs 24% in the second group, P = 0.001). Subgroup analysis showed that previous ES was the main causal factor for atypia, which was not related to the time interval from the ES (P = 0.407). Two patients (8%) with atypia in the first group were p53-positive.
CONCLUSION: ES causes biliary epithelial atypia that represents mostly reactive/proliferative rather than premalignant changes. The role of p53 immunoreactivity in biliary atypia needs to be further studied.