Introduction: Evidence for the outcomes of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) between a basket catheter and a balloon catheter for endoscopic common bile duct stone (CBDS) removal is lacking. This study aimed to compare ERCP outcomes using a basket catheter and a balloon catheter for endoscopic CBDS removal. Methods: This multicenter retrospective study included 904 consecutive patients with native papilla who underwent endoscopic stone removal for CBDS ≤10 mm using a basket catheter and/or a balloon catheter at three institutions in Japan. ERCP outcomes between the basket and balloon groups were compared using inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) method. Results: ERCP-related adverse events occurred in 6.5% (29/449) and 7.7% (35/455) of patients in the basket and balloon groups, respectively (IPTW-adjusted p = 0.52). The incidences of post-ERCP pancreatitis, cholangitis, and perforation were similar in the basket and balloon groups (3.8% vs. 2.9%, 1.3% vs. 0.9%, and 0.7% vs. 0.7%, respectively). However, bleeding incidences were significantly higher in the balloon group than in the basket group (3.3% vs. 0.7%, IPTW-adjusted p = 0.012). Successful complete stone removal at one ERCP session using a single catheter was achieved in 17.8% (80/449) in the basket group and in 81.3% (370/455) in the balloon group (IPTW-adjusted p < 0.001). Discussion: A balloon catheter is more likely to complete stone extraction for CBDS ≤10 mm with a single catheter at one endoscopic stone removal session. However, the risk for post-ERCP bleeding is higher in the balloon group than in the basket group.

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