A Comparative Study of Contrast Agents for Endoscopic Retrograde Pancreatography

Jamie S. Barkin, German L. Casal, Dolly K. Reiner, Robert I Goldberg, Richard Phillips, Steven Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Pancreatitis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality secondary to endoscopic retrograde pancreatography (ERP). One factor that may cause post-ERP pancreatitis is the type of contrast media utilized during the procedure. The purpose of this prospective, double-blind, randomized study was to evaluate the effects of three contrast agents of differing osmolality and ionicity on changes between pre- and post-ERP chemical changes in serum amylase and lipase and development of clinical symptoms of acute pancreatitis. Our study of 53 patients showed that those who received Omnipaque a non-ionic, relatively iso-osmolar contrast agent, had a significantly lower serum amylase (p = 0.0038) and serum lipase (p = 0.0002) in post-ERP serological markers, compared with patients who received the ionic agents, Hypaque meglumine 60% or Hexabrix. In addition, the development of clinical symptoms of pancreatitis was less in patients who received Omnipaque than in those who received Hexabrix or Hypaque (1 vs. 3 vs. 4). No significant difference was found between patients who received ionic agents. No patient who received Omnipaque needed hospitalization, whereas one (6%) patient who received Hexabrix was hospitalized compared to three (20%) hospitalized patients who received Hypaque. When the initial cost and cost of hospitalization were compared, the non-ionic contrast medium was also found to be more cost-effective for the patient. In summary, the risk of post-ERP acute pancreatitis was significantly lower for patients who received the non-ionic contrast agent than for those who received the ionic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1437-1441
Number of pages5
JournalThe American journal of gastroenterology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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