OBJECTIVES: Live demonstrations of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) have a high educational value and contribute significantly to endoscopy development and training. However, the success and safety of live demonstration have been questioned. The aim of this study was to evaluate the success rate and complications of therapeutic ERCP among patients who participated in live demonstrations. METHODS: Patients who underwent therapeutic ERCP during live demonstrations at gastrointestinal endoscopy conferences in China between January 2002 and December 2007 were included. The matched control for each patient was a patient admitted to the same ERCP unit with similar indication, who received ERCP by an endoscopist with similar experience as those who performed the live demonstration. Patients age, gender, indication, success rate, and complications of ERCP were collected and compared. ERCP outcomes between local and visiting faculty were also compared. RESULTS: In total, 36 conferences with live ERCP demonstrations involving 406 patients were held in 14 endoscopy centers. There were no significant differences in patients gender, age, and indications between live demonstrations and controls. The overall complication rate of ERCP in live demonstrations was not significantly different compared with controls (10.3 vs. 8.6, P0.473). However, the success rate was significantly lower in live demonstrations than in controls (94.1 vs. 97.5, P0.021). The success and complication rates of ERCP performed by local faculty, domestic visiting, and foreign visiting faculties were similar. CONCLUSIONS: Although the success rate of therapeutic ERCP performed during live demonstrations was lower than that of routine procedures, the overall complication rate did not significantly increase. ERCP performed by visiting endoscopists was as safe as that done by local faculty in live demonstrations.
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