Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is still performed using two-dimensional (2D) X-ray images. The success rate and risk of complications are considered operator-dependent. We explored performing an ERCP-related procedure with 3D-computed tomography (CT) biliary imaging for preoperative simulation and intraoperative reference in a patient with malignant biliary obstruction.
The patient was a 66-year-old man who underwent rectal resection and postoperative chemotherapy for rectal cancer. A liver metastasis caused obstructive jaundice and acute cholangitis, necessitating emergency hospitalization. A 3.5 cm mass in the hilar region of the biliary tree caused type IV biliary obstruction according to the Bismuth-Corlette classification of hilar cholangiocarcinoma. ERCP and biliary drainage were performed repeatedly, but had no effect. Given that selective bile duct drainage had proven extremely difficult with the conventional procedures, three-dimensional (3D) images were created from preoperative CT image data using a 3D image reconstruction system (SYNAPSE VINCENT version 5, FUJIFILM Corporation, Tokyo, Japan). Using the 3D images for preoperative planning and intraoperative reference, biliary drainage and stent placement were successfully performed without complications. Postoperatively, the patient had no further cholangitis or need for stent replacement up to his death.
We report the first case of an ERCP-related procedure with 3D biliary imaging for preoperative simulation and intraoperative reference in a patient with malignant biliary obstruction. The 3D image reconstruction is useful for preoperative planning and could contribute to an increased success rate, decreased complications, a shorter operation time, and reduced radiation exposure to the operator.