Background and Aims: Nonsurgical techniques for gallbladder drainage are percutaneous, and endoscopic. EUS-guided transmural gallbladder drainage (EUS-GBD) is a relatively new approach, although data are limited.
Our aim was to describe the outcome after EUS-GBD with a lumen-apposing metal stent (LAMS).
Patients and Methods: This was a retrospective review of prospectively collected data on 15 nonsurgical patients who underwent EUS-GBD for various indications. Procedures were performed at 3 tertiary care centers with expertise in the management of complex biliary problems. The main outcome measures were technical and clinical success and adverse events.
Results: Fifteen patients (8 male, 7 female) with a median age of 74 years (range 42-89) underwent EUS-GBD by using a LAMS to decompress the gallbladder (7 patients calculous cholecystitis, 4 acalculous cholecystitis, 2 patients biliary obstruction, 1 patient gallbladder hydrops, 1 patient symptomatic cholelithiasis). Patients were nonsurgical candidates according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification System; findings were class IV or higher in 9 patients and advanced malignancies in 6. Percutaneous transhepatic gallbladder drainage (PT-GBD) was refused by all patients and was further precluded by perihepatic ascites in 3 patients, coagulopathy or need for anticoagulation in 4 patients, and need for internal biliary drainage in 2 patients.
Transduodenal access and stenting was achieved in 14 of 15 patients and transgastric stenting was achieved in 1. Technical success was achieved in 14 of 15 patients (93%), whereas clinical success was achieved in all 15 patients with a median follow-up of 160 days. One mild adverse event (postprocedure fever for 3 days) was noted. The limitations of this study are the small select group of patients and retrospective study design.
Conclusions: EUS-GBD with a LAMS is technically safe and effective for decompressing the gallbladder for cholecystitis and biliary or cystic duct obstruction in patients who are poor surgical candidates.