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J Clin Ultrasound. 2000 May;28(4):166-8.

Sonographic assessment of ceftriaxone-associated biliary pseudolithiasis in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Istanbul, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Capa 34390, Istanbul, Turkey.



Ceftriaxone is a widely used third-generation cephalosporin. In this prospective study, we used sonography to investigate the incidence and outcome of biliary complications in children receiving ceftriaxone therapy.


Ceftriaxone was administered intravenously at a dosage of 100 mg/kg/day for 1-3 weeks to 118 children hospitalized for severe infection. Serial gallbladder sonograms were obtained on days 1, 5-7, and 10-14 of therapy and the day after therapy ended if it had lasted more than 2 weeks. When sonographic abnormalities were found, additional sonograms were obtained every 3 days until the abnormalities had completely resolved.


Twenty patients (17%), all asymptomatic, demonstrated sonographic abnormalities: 8 had gallbladder sludge, defined as echogenic material without associated acoustic shadowing, and 12 had pseudolithiasis, defined as echogenic material with acoustic shadowing. These abnormalities spontaneously resolved within 2 weeks of stopping the ceftriaxone (mean time to disappearance, 8.2 +/- 3.4 days). No significant differences were found between patients with normal versus abnormal sonographic findings in sex, age, duration of treatment, or other risk factors for drug precipitation.


Ceftriaxone-associated biliary pseudolithiasis is usually asymptomatic and was rapidly reversible after cessation of therapy in this group of Turkish children.

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