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Dr. Cotton
Dr. Peter Cotton

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NIH funds MUSC study on sphincter of Oddi dysfunction

belly acheDr. Peter Cotton is MUSC’s Principal Investigator in the NIH-funded study on a treatment for stenosis of the sphincter, a painful dysfunction that can occur following gall bladder surgery.

The sphincter of Oddi is a valve controlling the flow of bile and pancreatic juices into the duodenum. Stenosis (a narrowing) of the sphincter can cause recurrent attacks of pain after surgical removal of the gall bladder. Diagnosis and management of this condition is controversial. Many patients are referred to tertiary centers for Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with manometry. However, the results of manometry-guided sphincterotomy are not optimal and there are significant risks of developing pancreatitis in as many as 10% of patients.

The EPISOD study (Evaluating Predictors of Interventions in Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction) has been designed to evaluate which patients respond to sphincterotomy, their clinical characteristics (e.g., their pain patterns and presence of other functional or psychiatric disorders), and the relevance of manometry.

The goal is to enroll 250 subjects over the next three years. In addition to MUSC, there are six other collaborating centers Baltimore, Birmingham, Seattle, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, and St Louis.

Further details and contact personnel are available at the Digestive Disease Research Center's website.

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