The application of SpyScope® technology in evaluation of pre and post liver transplant biliary problems

Ahmet Gürakar, Harlan Wright, Cemalettin Camci, Nicolas Jaboour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/aims: Peroral cholangioscopy with its limitations led to further research regarding development of SpyScope® technology. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the efficacy of a new device and the application of this device in our Liver Transplant Center. Methods: Charts of patients who had undergone evaluation with SpyScope® were retrospectively reviewed. Indications included pre-transplant as well as post-transplant evaluation of biliary strictures. If strictures or filling defects were noted by cholangiogram, SpyScope® was performed. Biopsy was obtained under direct visualization if necessary with SpyBite® biopsy forceps. Demographic features, indications for SpyScope® evaluation, results, and histopathological diagnoses were recorded. Results: Ten patients (6 male, 4 female; median age: 55) had undergone SpyScope® procedure between August 2007 and January 2008. Six out of 10 cases were in the pre-transplant work-up period, referred to as Group I, while the remaining four were post-transplant patients, referred to as Group II. In Group I, 4 of 6 cases had undergone the procedure for work-up of primary sclerosing cholangitis prior to orthotopic liver transplantation. In Group II, indications were either strictures noted during the previous endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (n=2) or common bile duct stones with elevated total bilirubin levels and stones with long segment biliary stricture (n=2). In the patient with anastomotic stricture, the biliary lithiasis was eventually exposed just above the anastomotic stricture, after abundant lavage was applied at that level. All SpyBite® biopsy specimens were reported to be adequate samples for histopathological examination. No malignancy was detected among 4 patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis and patients with elevated CA 19-9. Conclusions: SpyScope® allows direct visualization of biliary strictures and SpyScope®/SpyBite® were found to be technically superior to conventional cholangiogram with better sampling than brushing obtained by endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Prospective, multicenter, large volume studies are warranted to identify its sensitivity and specificity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-432
Number of pages5
JournalTurkish Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biliary stricture
  • Liver transplantation
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • SpyBite®
  • SpyScope®

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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