An NIH-appointed panel is predicting that diagnostic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ECRP) will soon be eclipsed by less invasive, high-tech imaging tools. At the same time, the panel endorsed ECRP as a valuable treatment tool.
Developed 30 years ago, ECRP combines x-rays and an endoscope, sometimes with dye injections, to find problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas. The uncomfortable procedure requires sedation and confers a 5% to 7% risk for pancreatitis.
Vastag B. Panel Report on GI Procedure. JAMA. 2002;287(7):832. doi:10.1001/jama.287.7.832-JHA20002-4-1