Opium Effects on Pancreatobiliary System in Opium Abusers Evaluated by Endoscopic Ultrasonography

Rasoul Sotoudehmanesh, Ali Ali Asgari, Roya Rahimi



Opium use is a significant social and public health issue. There are numerous effects of opium documented as affecting the pancreatobiliary system. The aim of the study was to assess the pancreatobiliary changes in patients with opium addiction by endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS).


During the study period, consecutive patients who were referred for EUS of submucosal upper gastrointestinal lesions were included. The history of opium addiction and clinical symptoms were recorded prospectively. Diameters of the common bile duct, pancreatic duct, size of the ampulla of Vater, and gallbladder abnormalities were evaluated using EUS.


A total of 254 patients (53.1% male, mean age of 55.4±14.2 years) were studied. A history of opium addiction was present in 56 patients (22.0%). Choledocholithiasis was found in two patients (3.6%) and one control (0.5%) patient (p=0.06). Gallbladder stones were found in 13 opium-addict (23.2%) and 16 control (8.1%) patients (p=0.002). The mean diameter of the common bile duct, size of the ampulla of Vater (p<0.001), and pancreatic duct (p=0.04) were all significantly greater in patients with opium addiction.


Dilation of the biliary and pancreatic ducts is seen more commonly in patients addicted to opium. However, the clinical implications of these findings need to be further evaluated in future studies.


Opium, Endosonography, Biliary tract, Pancreatic duct, Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction

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