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Minerva Gastroenterology 2021 Jun 18

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5985.21.02876-X

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Endoscopic management of difficult common bile duct stones

Markus DOLLHOPF, Henning SCHMETKAMP

Endoscopy Section, Gastroenterology, München Klinik Neuperlach, Munich, Germany


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INTRODUCTION: Common bile duct stones are a very frequent problem in the western world and endoscopic stone clearance is the method of choice for treatment. Despite its common use, endoscopic clearance of common bile duct stones is not always trivial especially in cases involving large or multiple stones.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A literature review regarding different endoscopic techniques was performed for this article and a recommended therapeutic algorithm developed based on the guidelines of the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) and the German Gastroenterological Society (DGVS).
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: This review gives an overview of currently applied endoscopic techniques, their success and complication rates as well as alternative methods used for cases involving anatomic anomalies. The purpose of this review is to recommend a therapeutic algorithm for the treatment of difficult common bile duct stones.
CONLCLUSIONS: For the treatment of difficult common bile duct stones, combined sphincterotomy and endoscopic large balloon dilation should be first choice. Mechanical lithotripsy and cholangioscopy-guided lithotripsy are close alternatives with nearly equal clearance rates and should be used if accessible. The insertion of a temporary plastic stent is a good choice to gain time to explore further treatment options. Enteroscopy-based ERCP, PTCS or EUS-guided hepaticogastrostomy and stone treatment, while good alternatives for select cases involving anatomic anomalies, should be performed at specialised units.


KEY WORDS: Difficult common bile duct stones; Endoscopic management; Therapeutic algorithm

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