Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 731–737 | Cite as

Digital single-operator cholangioscopy: a useful tool for selective guidewire placements across complex biliary strictures

  • Arne Bokemeyer
  • Dina Gross
  • Markus Brückner
  • Tobias Nowacki
  • Dominik Bettenworth
  • Hartmut Schmidt
  • Hauke Heinzow
  • Iyad Kabar
  • Hansjoerg Ullerich
  • Frank LenzeEmail author



Treatment of biliary strictures is challenging. Digital single-operator cholangioscopes (SOCs) equipped with an improved imaging quality, were recently introduced and may be useful for selective guidewire placement in difficult biliary strictures.


A total of 167 digital SOC procedures performed between 2015 and 2018 were retrospectively analyzed for successful guidewire placements across biliary strictures. Only cases with previous failed conventional guidewire placement approaches were included.


In total, 30 examinations with a digital SOC-assisted guidewire placement across biliary strictures, performed in 23 patients, were identified. In 52% of all patients, the stricture was benign with post-liver-transplant strictures (75%) as the most frequent finding; in 48% of all patients the stricture was malignant with cholangiocellular carcinoma as the most frequent type (64%). Guidewire placement was successful in 21 of 30 procedures (70%). According to a subgroup analysis, digital SOC-assisted guidewire placements were significantly more successful in patients with benign strictures than those in patients with malignant strictures (88.2% vs. 46.2%; p = 0.02). Furthermore, the technical success rate tended to be increased in cases of initial examinations (78.3%) than in patients with repeated examinations (42.9%; p = 0.15). Adverse events, such as post-interventional pancreatitis or cholangitis as well as severe bleeding occurred in 16.7% of all examinations.


Digital SOC-assisted guidewire placements have high technical success rates, especially in benign biliary strictures. This technique can help to avoid more invasive procedures such as percutaneous transhepatic or endoscopic ultrasound-guided biliary drainage.


Biliary strictures Cholangioscopy Digital single-operator cholangioscopy Guidewire placement and SpyGlass DS 


Compliance with ethical standards


Dina Gross and Drs. Arne Bokemeyer, Tobias Nowacki, Markus Brückner, Hauke Heinzow, Iyad Kabar, Hansjoerg Ullerich and Frank Lenze as well as Prof. Dr. Dominik Bettenworth and Prof. Dr. Hartmut Schmidt have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arne Bokemeyer
    • 1
  • Dina Gross
    • 1
  • Markus Brückner
    • 1
  • Tobias Nowacki
    • 1
  • Dominik Bettenworth
    • 1
  • Hartmut Schmidt
    • 1
  • Hauke Heinzow
    • 1
  • Iyad Kabar
    • 1
  • Hansjoerg Ullerich
    • 1
  • Frank Lenze
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medicine B for Gastroenterology and HepatologyUniversity Hospital MuensterMuensterGermany

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