Percutaneous debridement and washout of walled-off abdominal abscess and necrosis by the use of flexible endoscopy: an attractive clinical option when transluminal approaches are unsafe or not possible

Matthew T. Moyer, Leonard T. Walsh, Carl E. Manzo, Justin Loloi, Allene Burdette, Abraham Mathew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and Aims: Walled-off pancreatic necrosis is a well-known serious adverse event of severe acute pancreatitis. EUS-guided transluminal access followed by direct endoscopic necrosectomy is increasingly used to remove necrosis, with good efficacy and a superior safety profile when compared with surgery. However, a percentage of patients is too critically ill to undergo this procedure or lack an appropriate transluminal window for access. Here we describe the use of percutaneous flexible endoscopic necrosectomy (PEN) with use of standard-sized upper endoscopes and accessories in a retrospective single-institution experience with a video demonstration of 1 patient in the series. Methods: The authors present a 23-patient retrospective case series of PEN with standard-sized endoscopes. The series includes 12 patients from a previously published analysis in 2016 and 11 additional patients from 2013 to 2018. A representative case illustrates the described technique in a patient with severe acute pancreatitis complicated by multisystem organ failure who required immediate drainage of a pancreatic fluid collection and placement of a percutaneous drain into the collection for decompression. The drain was serially upsized to 28F, and its tract was used for PEN. Results: A total of 23 patients have undergone PEN at our institution. On average, the size of the pancreatic fluid collection was 11.6 cm in cross-sectional diameter. Of those 23 patients, 11 presented with symptoms of severe disease. The median time from onset of symptoms to PEN was 84 days. The median number of procedures per patient was 2.1. The median time to complete resolution of symptoms and fluid collections was 67 days. In total, resolution was reached in 22 of 23 patients. Two patients died of unrelated causes. Conclusion: PEN is a minimally invasive and effective treatment approach to walled-off pancreatic necrosis in patients who are not amenable to transluminal drainage and in whom percutaneous drains have been successfully placed. This case series demonstrates the efficacy and safety of this approach. A randomized prospective trial would be warranted to validate these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-393
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology

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