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Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1642
Anneline CREMER, Marianna ARVANITAKIS
Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatopancreatology and Digestive Oncology, Erasme Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
Bile stone disease is one of the most prevalent gastroenterological diseases with a considerable geographical and ethnic variation. Bile stones can be classified according their origin, their localization and their biochemical structure. Development and clinical expression depend on a complex interaction between congenital and acquired risk factors. Indeed, bile stones can be either asymptomatic, or cause biliary colic or complications such as acute cholecystitis, jaundice, cholangitis and acute pancreatitis. Diagnosis is based on a combination of clinical features, laboratory findings and imaging techniques and correct identification of symptomatic gallstone patients is essential before cholecystectomy. Transabdominal ultrasonography is the gold standard for the diagnosis of gallstones. However, endoscopic ultrasonography, magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography and intraoperative cholangiography may also play a role in the diagnosis of bile stones. Management includes prevention measures against modifiable risk factors. Biliary colic and acute cholecystitis are common indications of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, while endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with endoscopic biliary sphincterotomy and stone extraction is the gold standard for the treatment of common bile duct (CBD) stones. Timing of ERCP and cholecystectomy are of critical importance in the management. Lithotripsy modalities are generally reserved for patients with technically difficult CBD stone removal. Percutaneous access combined with lithotripsy may be helpful for complicated intrahepatic stones.