Clinical models are inaccurate in predicting bile duct stones in situ for patients with gallbladder

B Topal, S Fieuws, K Tomczyk, R Aerts, W Van Steenbergen, C Verslype, F Penninckx
Surgical Endoscopy 2009, 23 (1): 38-44

BACKGROUND: The probability that a patient has common bile duct stones (CBDS) is a key factor in determining diagnostic and treatment strategies. This prospective cohort study evaluated the accuracy of clinical models in predicting CBDS for patients who will undergo cholecystectomy for lithiasis.

METHODS: From October 2005 until September 2006, 335 consecutive patients with symptoms of gallstone disease underwent cholecystectomy. Statistical analysis was performed on prospective patient data obtained at the time of first presentation to the hospital. Demonstrable CBDS at the time of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) or intraoperative cholangiography (IOC) was considered the gold standard for the presence of CBDS.

RESULTS: Common bile duct stones were demonstrated in 53 patients. For 35 patients, ERCP was performed, with successful stone clearance in 24 of 30 patients who had proven CBDS. In 29 patients, IOC showed CBDS, which were managed successfully via laparoscopic common bile duct exploration, with stone extraction at the time of cholecystectomy. Prospective validation of the existing model for CBDS resulted in a predictive accuracy rate of 73%. The new model showed a predictive accuracy rate of 79%.

CONCLUSION: Clinical models are inaccurate in predicting CBDS in patients with cholelithiasis. Management strategies should be based on the local availability of therapeutic expertise.

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