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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2007 June;62(3):167-72


language: Italian

Diagnosis and treatment of gallbladder and common bile duct stones: our experience

Candela G. 1, Varriale S. 1, Napolitano S. 1, Di Libero L. 1, Manetta F. 1, Sciascia V. 1, Giordano M. 2, Maschio A. 1, Santini L. 1

1 VII Divisione di Chirurgia Generale Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia Seconda Università di Napoli, Napoli 2 Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia Università del Sacro Cuore “Agostino Gemelli”, Roma


Aim. The aim of this study was to verify the possibility to identify and treat common bile duct (CBD) stones by means of preoperative magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with a reduction of postoperative complications.
Methods. We have carried out a retrospective monocenter analysis of 104 consecutive patients who underwent a laparoscopic or open cholecystectomy performed by a single surgeon at the VII Division of General Surgery, Second University of Naples, between 2002 and 2006. Before the operation, we have performed highly selective studies like MRCP and ERCP to identify and treat CBD stones in patients affected by pancreatitis, jaundice, high liver function tests or in case of common bile duct dilation at the US examination, without intraoperative cholangiography.
Results. Of 104 patients with indication for a cholecystectomy, 22 patients (21.2%) presented high levels of cholestasis tests; 13 patients (12.5%) presented common bile duct dilation at the US examination (>6 mm diameter). Both groups underwent a MRCP which was positive in 8 patients (7.7%), confirming the diagnosis of common bile duct stones. For these reasons we removed CBD stones using preoperative ERCP.
Conclusion. Preoperative ERCP and RMCP, without intraoperative cholangiography, is not associated with a significant increase in morbility/mortality associated with CBD stones before surgical treatment.

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