Antibiotic prophylaxis in ERCP with failed cannulation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with failed biliary cannulation is associated with a high rate of adverse events, but the role of prophylactic antibiotics remains unclear. The primary aim was to investigate if prophylactically administered antibiotics affect the frequency of overall adverse complications in patients where biliary cannulation fails during ERCP. The secondary aim was to investigate if specific infectious complications, also were affected by the antibiotic prophylaxis. Materials and methods: We analysed data from 96,818 ERCPs (2006–2018), from the Swedish National Quality Registry of Cholecystectomy and ERCP (GallRiks), excluding ERCPs with successful cannulation (n = 88,743), missing data (n = 2,014), or on-going antibiotic therapy (n = 1,062). Results: In total 4,996 procedures were included, 2,124 received (42.5%) and 2,872 (57.5%) did not receive antibiotic prophylaxis. There were fewer overall complications in the group receiving prophylaxis (13.6% vs. 17.1%, p <.001), which corresponded to a 24% adjusted odds reduction in the multivariable analysis (odds ratio [OR] 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.65–0.89). In the prophylaxis group, there was a lower overall rate of infectious complications (2.1% vs. 3.2%; p =.038; OR 0.68; 95% CI 0.47–0.98) and abscesses (0.8% vs. 1.4%; p =.040; OR 0.54; 95% CI 0.31–0.96). However, no significant differences were seen in the rate of cholangitis (1.3% vs. 1.7%; p =.182; OR 0.74; 95% CI 0.46–1.18). Conclusion: This national quality registry study of ERCPs with failed cannulation showed a significant reduction in overall and infectious complications when prophylactic antibiotics were administered.


External organisations
  • Växjö Central Hospital
  • Umeå University
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Region Kronoberg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology


  • adverse events, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, ERCP, peri-procedural complications, postoperative complications, Prophylactic antibiotics
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021 Jan 5
Publication categoryResearch