Background and study aims: There is a paucity of in vitro methods for evaluating ERCP accessories. We hypothesize that the time taken to perform a simulated single stent or multiple stents placement is different for stenting systems with or without the capability of intraductal ductal release (IDR) of the guide wire. Patients and methods: We conducted an unblinded in vitro comparison of ERCP accessories using a mechanical simulator during hands-on ERCP practice workshops. A total of 21 U.S. participants and 20 Chinese participants with various level of ERCP experience took part in the different practice workshops. Accessories with and without the capability of intraductal release of guide wire were compared. Total time required for completing a simulated stenting procedure with single or multiple stents and the respective simulated fluoroscopy time were recorded. Results: There was no significant difference in the time taken for placement of a single stent using either stenting systems. Stenting system capable of intraductal release of the guide wire required significantly shorter time to complete placement of three stents. Conclusions: Using time required to complete a specific task, i.e. biliary stenting, the mechanical simulator permits the performance of different accessories by the same group of operators to be evaluated objectively.
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