Non-invasive assessment of choledocholithiasis in patients with gallstones and abnormal liver function

Bilal O Al-Jiffry, Abdeen Elfateh, Tariq Chundrigar, Bassem Othman, Owaid Almalki, Fares Rayza, Hashem Niyaz, Hesham Elmakhzangy, Mohammed Hatem
World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 2013 September 21, 19 (35): 5877-82

AIM: To find a non-invasive strategy for detecting choledocholithiasis before cholecystectomy, with an acceptable negative rate of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.

METHODS: All patients with symptomatic gallstones were included in the study. Patients with abnormal liver functions and common bile duct abnormalities on ultrasound were referred for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Patients with normal ultrasound were referred to magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. All those who had a negative magnetic resonance or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy with intraoperative cholangiography.

RESULTS: Seventy-eight point five percent of patients had laparoscopic cholecystectomy directly with no further investigations. Twenty-one point five percent had abnormal liver function tests, of which 52.8% had normal ultrasound results. This strategy avoided unnecessary magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography in 47.2% of patients with abnormal liver function tests with a negative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography rate of 10%. It also avoided un-necessary endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in 35.2% of patients with abnormal liver function.

CONCLUSION: This strategy reduces the cost of the routine use of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, in the diagnosis and treatment of common bile duct stones before laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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