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Endoscopic resection of ampullary tumors: 12-year review of 21 cases

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Endoscopic snare papillectomy is increasingly performed with curative intent for benign papillary tumors. This study aimed to evaluate the outcome of endoscopic resection for ampullary tumors at a single center.


All ampullary tumors without macroscopic features of malignancy identified by the endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) from January 1995 to February 2007 were included in the study. Papillectomy was performed by snare resection using electrocautery. Argon plasma coagulation was effective for fulguration of small tissue remnants not amenable to snare resection.


Of the 21 patients (9 men and 12 women; mean age, 67.2 ± 14.3 years) evaluated, 11 had adenoma (7 had low-grade dysplasia [LGD] and 4 had high-grade dysplasia [HGD]), and 10 had carcinoma. All the patients underwent papillectomy. Of the 21 patients, 18 had extraductal growth or minimal intraductal growth, and 3 had extensive intraductal growth. The endoscopic complications (23.8%) included one case of mild bleeding, two cases of mild pancreatitis, and two cases of moderate pancreatitis. After papillectomy, 15 patients underwent Whipple procedures (endoscopic failure, 74.1%), including 3 patients with extensive intraductal growth (complete removal of the lesion impossible), 9 patients with carcinoma beyond the mucosal layer, and 3 patients with recurrence treated surgically. Endoscopic success (28.5%) was obtained for the remaining six patients (4 with LGD and 2 with HGD). Papillectomy was determined to be curative after a mean follow-up period of 15.9 ± 14.9 months.


In the hands of an experienced endoscopist, endoscopic papillectomy is a clinically effective treatment for ampullary tumors without invasive neoplasia. Evaluation of a prepapillectomy tumor extension is an important criterion for assessment of endoscopic success.

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Correspondence to Vicente Lorenzo-Zúñiga.

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Boix, J., Lorenzo-Zúñiga, V., Moreno de Vega, V. et al. Endoscopic resection of ampullary tumors: 12-year review of 21 cases. Surg Endosc 23, 45–49 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-008-9866-3

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  • Ampullary tumors
  • Endoscopic resection
  • Endoscopic snare papillectomy