Cholangioscopy (English version)


Cholangioscope is a miniature endoscope that has been developed to permit direct examination of the bile ducts. The diameter of this miniature endoscope changes between 3.5-5.8 mm depending on the type. Cholangioscopes are passed through the working channel of a standard therapeutic duodenoscope during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).

Cholangioscopes are used for the treatment of difficult bile duct stones (with the help of laser lithotripsy catheters), and for the evaluation of biliary strictures. During cholangioscopy, targeted biopsies of bile duct lesions can be obtained in cases with strictures that could not be diagnosed as benign or malignant with standard methods (such as when sampling techniques such as brush cytology or biopsy are inconclusive). In other words, cholangioscopy gives an option to perform therapeutic interventions requiring direct visualization inside the bile ducts. It can also be used to evaluate abnormal findings during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or to assess the extent of cholangiocarcinoma prior to surgery.

Pancreatoscopy is a similar procedure where these thin miniature scopes are inserted into the pancreatic duct. Pancreatoscopy is a complementary method in the evaluation of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas. Also it can be used for stones located in the main pancreatic duct.