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A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics

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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2002 March;48(1):37-44

language: Italian

Management of sepsis of the biliary tract. Indications to surgical treatment

De Paolis P., Marchigiano E., Carrera M., Leone N., Pellicano R., Fronda G. R.


Sepsis of the biliary tract is a severe disease, due to its course and its significant association with relevant diseases, either benign or malignant, of the biliary tract, pancreas, hepatic hilus. In many cases it remains difficult to set the limit between medical therapy, percutaneous or endoscopic therapy and surgical treatment. Through a thorough review of the last 20 years' literature, we have studied this topic and classified cholangitis according to its etiology: lithiasis, benign stenosis or Klatskin tumor as malignant diseases. The sequential approach, endoscopy-surgery, seems to provide the best results in lithiasic cholangitis. In patients with benign stenosis of the biliary tract, a percutaneous drainage is indicated as a first choice, meanwhile surgery is limited to unsuccessful bilioplasty and to segmental extrahepatic localization of sclerosing cholangitis. On the contrary, in Klatskin tumours, preoperative percutaneous drainages are useful to obtain an accurate map, which is indispensable to perform an aggressive radical hepatic resection.

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