Background Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is often unsuccessful in patients with duodenal stenosis or malignant ampullary infiltration. While endoscopic ultrasound-guided biliary drainage (EUS-BD) has been proposed as an alternative, EUS-guided gallbladder drainage (EUS-GBD) is an attractive option when both approaches fail. We aimed to assess the effectiveness and safety of EUS-GBD as rescue therapy for malignant distal bile duct obstruction. Methods A multicenter retrospective study was performed on patients with unresectable malignant distal bile duct obstruction who underwent EUS-GBD between 2014 and 2019 after unsuccessful ERCP and EUS-BD. Clinical success was defined as a decrease in serum bilirubin of >50% within 2 weeks. Results 28 patients were included, with a lumen-apposing metal stent used in 26 (93%) and a self-expandable metal stent in two (7%). The technical success rate was 100%. The clinical success rate was 93%, with an improvement in bilirubin (7.3 [SD 5.4] pre-procedure vs. 2.8 [SD 1.1] post-procedure; P =0.001). Delayed adverse events included food impaction of the stent (n=3), with a further two patients developing cholecystitis and bleeding. Conclusion This study demonstrates the feasibility of gallbladder drainage to relieve malignant distal bile duct obstruction in patients with failed ERCP and EUS-BD.
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