Complications of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: Spectrum of abnormalities demonstrated with CT

Harpreet K. Pannu, Elliot K. Fishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is an invasive procedure that is performed to diagnose and treat pancreatic and biliary disease. In approximately 5%-10% of cases, the procedure itself causes adverse events. Diagnosis and management of ERCP-induced complications are performed with clinical, laboratory, and radiologic procedures. Evaluation of the type and severity of the complication is necessary and is successfully performed with computed tomography (CT). The most common causes of post-ERCP pain are acute pancreatitis and duodenal perforation. In severe pancreatitis, the pancreas is enlarged and enhances heterogeneously at CT. Pancreatic enhancement is diminished in areas of glandular necrosis. In duodenal perforation, CT may reveal extraluminal air or fluid. CT findings of acute duodenal hemorrhage are duodenal wall thickening and a high-attenuation mass in the duodenal wall. In infection, the bile ducts can be dilated and the attenuation of the bile can be increased at CT. Abscesses appear as hypoattenuating masses with enhancing capsules. CT findings of stent migration are an atypical location of the stent and bowel impaction. Other complications of ERCP are those related to endoscopy and include esophageal, liver, and splenic injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1453
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Bile ducts, stents and prostheses, 76.46
  • Cholangitis, 76.20
  • Duodenum, hemorrhage, 73.412
  • Duodenum, perforation, 73.715
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), 70.1222
  • Endoscopy, 70.458
  • Pancreatitis, 770.291

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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