Pancreatitis of biliary origin, optimal timing of cholecystectomy (PONCHO trial): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

SA Bouwense, MG Besselink, S van Brunschot, OJ Bakker, HC van Santvoort, Nicolien Schepers, MA Boermeester, TL Bollen, K Bosscha, MA Brink, Marco Bruno, EC Consten, CH DeJong, P van Duijvendijk, Casper van Eijck, JJ Gerritsen, H van Goor, J Heisterkamp, IH de Hingh, PM KruytIQ Molenaar, VB Nieuwenhuijs, C Rosman, AF Schaapherder, JJ Scheepers, MBW Spanier, R Timmer, BL Weusten, BJ Witteman, B van Ramshorst, HG Gooszen, D Boerma

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Background: After an initial attack of biliary pancreatitis, cholecystectomy minimizes the risk of recurrent biliary pancreatitis and other gallstone-related complications. Guidelines advocate performing cholecystectomy within 2 to 4 weeks after discharge for mild biliary pancreatitis. During this waiting period, the patient is at risk of recurrent biliary events. In current clinical practice, surgeons usually postpone cholecystectomy for 6 weeks due to a perceived risk of a more difficult dissection in the early days following pancreatitis and for logistical reasons. We hypothesize that early laparoscopic cholecystectomy minimizes the risk of recurrent biliary pancreatitis or other complications of gallstone disease in patients with mild biliary pancreatitis without increasing the difficulty of dissection and the surgical complication rate compared with interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Methods/Design: PONCHO is a randomized controlled, parallel-group, assessor-blinded, superiority multicenter trial. Patients are randomly allocated to undergo early laparoscopic cholecystectomy, within 72 hours after randomization, or interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy, 25 to 30 days after randomization. During a 30-month period, 266 patients will be enrolled from 18 hospitals of the Dutch Pancreatitis Study Group. The primary endpoint is a composite endpoint of mortality and acute re-admissi Discussion: The PONCHO trial is designed to show that early laparoscopic cholecystectomy (within 72 hours) reduces the combined endpoint of mortality and re-admissions for biliary events as compared with interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy (between 25 and 30 days) after recovery of a first episode of mild biliary pancreatitis.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Research programs

  • EMC MM-03-47-11
  • EMC MM-04-20-01

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