Is prophylactic ciprofloxacin effective in delaying biliary stent blockage?

Joseph Leung, Eric D. Libby, Douglas W. Morck, Sharon G. McKay, Yan lei Liu, Kan Lam, Merle E. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Background: Late stent blockage is a major complication of endoscopic stent insertion for malignant obstructive jaundice. Stents block as a result of bacterial infection and biofilm formation. We report a randomized but unblinded study using an animal model to evaluate the effect of prophylactic ciprofloxacin, which selectively suppresses gram-negative bacteria, in an attempt to prolong stent patency. Method: Ten adult cats underwent surgical implantation of 5F polyethylene stents through common bile duct strictures created around the choledochotomy, with the tip of the stent left in the duodenum. Five animals received intravenous ciprofloxacin perioperatively and were then maintained on oral ciprofloxacin 25 mg twice daily. Control cats were not given antibiotics. The animals were sacrificed when signs of biliary obstruction or cholangitis persisted for more than 3 days or at the end of the 16-week study period. Stents were removed and examined for patency. In addition, the stents were cultured to recover the adherent bacteria. Results: All control animals developed stent blockage within 4 weeks. Two ciprofloxacin-treated cats developed stent blockage at 21 and 42 days, respectively, whereas the other 3 cats had patent stents for the entire study period. There was a significant difference between the median stent patency of 112 days for the ciprofloxacin group versus 16 days for the control group (p < 0.02). Bacteriologic cultures showed that the bile and blocked stents from the control group had pre-dominantly gram-negative bacteria, whereas the bile and stents of the ciprofloxacin group had gram-positive and anaerobic bacteria, with an absence of gram-negative bacteria (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Ciprofloxacin prophylaxis eliminates gram-negative bacterial infection in bile and minimizes sludge formation and may have a potential benefit in delaying stent blockage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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