Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP)
Complications are not common. But having this test may cause serious
problems, such as:
- Inflammation of the pancreas.
(This is called pancreatitis.)
- Bleeding. This may occur if the pancreatic or bile
ducts were widened, if a stent was placed, or if biopsies were taken.
- Infection of the bile ducts, which may occur if gallstones
- Infection of the blood. (This is called sepsis.)
- An abnormal heart rhythm.
- A puncture of
the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, bile duct, or pancreatic duct. If this
happens, you will need to have surgery to repair the puncture.
- Problems caused by anesthesia.
After the test
After the test, call your doctor
right away if you:
- Have nausea or vomiting.
- Have new or increased belly
- Get a fever or chills.
- Feel short of
- Are dizzy or feel like you may faint.
People who have serious heart disease and older adults
who have other chronic diseases have a greater chance of having problems from this
test. Talk to your doctor about your
retrograde cholangiopancreatogram test checks the tubes (ducts) that drain the
gallbladder , and
pancreas . A
flexible, lighted scope (endoscope) and X-ray pictures are used.
Your doctor may be able to tell you about some findings right after the test. But the
medicines used to relax you for the test may impair your memory. So your doctor
may tell you to call the next day for your results.
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP)
Contrast material shows normal structure and size of the bile ducts and the ducts that drain the
esophagus , stomach,
and duodenum look normal.
- Pressure in the ducts is normal.
- The ducts are
narrowed or blocked. This may be caused by
gallstones, scar tissue, inflammation, or
- Inflammation, ulcers, infection, or pseudocysts are seen.
- Cancer of the
esophagus, stomach, duodenum, gallbladder, or pancreas is found.
- Pressure in the ducts is not normal.
What Affects the Test
You may not be able to
have the test, or the results may not be helpful, if:
- You have barium contrast material in your
intestines. This may be from a
barium enema test.
- You have a condition that affects how blood clots, or you take blood thinning medicines such as warfarin.
- You have an infection such as pancreatitis or diverticulitis.
- You are pregnant.
- You can't stay still during the test.