Background and study aims: Only a few large cohort studies have evaluated the efficacy and safety of endoscopic necrosectomy for infected walled-off pancreatic necrosis (WOPN). Therefore, a multicenter, large cohort study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of endoscopic necrosectomy and to examine the procedural details and follow-up after successful endoscopic necrosectomy. Patients and methods: A retrospective review was conducted in 16 leading Japanese institutions for patients who underwent endoscopic necrosectomy for infected WOPN between August 2005 and July 2011. The follow-up data were also reviewed to determine the long-term outcomes of the procedures. Results: Of 57 patients, 43 (75 %) experienced successful resolution after a median of 5 sessions of endoscopic necrosectomy and 21 days of treatment. Complications occurred in 19 patients (33 %) during the treatment period. Six patients died (11 %): two due to multiple organ failure and one patient each from air embolism, splenic aneurysm, hemorrhage from a Mallory - Weiss tear, and an unknown cause. Of 43 patients with successful endoscopic necrosectomy, recurrent cavity formation was observed in three patients during a median follow-up period of 27 months. Conclusions: Endoscopic necrosectomy can be an effective technique for infected WOPN and requires a relatively short treatment period. However, serious complications can arise, including death. Therefore, patients should be carefully selected, and knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced operators should perform the procedure. Further research into safer technologies is required in order to reduce the associated morbidity and mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas