Scoring system to predict asymptomatic choledocholithiasis before laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A matched case-control study

L Sarli, R Costi, S Gobbi, D Iusco, G Sgobba, L Roncoroni
Surgical Endoscopy 2003, 17 (9): 1396-403

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate if a recently proposed score system based on six preoperative parameters [history of colic pain and/or jaundice, dyspepsia, cholecystitis, ultrasound (US), evidence of common bile duct stones (CBDS), number and size of gallbladder stones at US, level of serum glutamic oxalacetic transaminase and/or alkaline phosphatase is effective in the selection of patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) with asymptomatic CBDS and could allow a significant reduction of the total number of preoperative examinations.

METHODS: In the case group, 408 patients were categorized into low-, medium-, and high-risk classes and underwent, respectively, no further preoperative assessment of the bile duct, intravenous cholangiography (IVC), and endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC). Intraoperative cholangiography (IOC) was performed whenever the surgeon was in doubt as to biliary anatomy or bile duct clearance. These patients were compared with 408 retrospectively matched patients (control group) undergoing routine preoperative IVC and/or ERC.

RESULTS: In the case group, significantly lower numbers of IVC (120 vs 392) and IOC (3 vs 16) were performed ( p < 0.005), whereas no difference in the total number of ERCs was noted. One patient in the control group had retained CBDS detected during follow-up evaluation, whereas none occurred in the case group.

CONCLUSION: The proposed scoring system allows selective use of IVC, ERC, and/or IOC in patients undergoing elective LC.

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