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Dig Surg. 2011;28(4):288-92. doi: 10.1159/000329582. Epub 2011 Aug 12.

Incidence of bactobilia increases over time after endoscopic sphincterotomy.

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Department of Surgery, St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.


Patients with choledochocystolithiasis are usually treated by endoscopic retrograde cholangiography with endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) followed by laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). LC after ES is more difficult than in uncomplicated gallstone disease, possibly due to bacterial colonization of the common bile duct. The goal of this study was to evaluate if bactobilia influences the peri- and postoperative outcomes. Data were obtained from a randomized trial on the timing of LC after ES. Ninety-six patients were randomized after ES to LC either within 72 h (early LC [ELC]) or in 6-8 weeks (delayed LC [DLC]). In 64 of 96 patients bile samples were obtained peroperatively. The overall prevalence of bactobilia was 62.5% [40/64; 50% of ELC patients (n = 13) vs. 71.1% in the DLC group (n = 27); p = 0.088]. Age and group (i.e. ELC/DLC) were independent and significant predictors for the presence of bactobilia. The presence of bactobilia did not influence operating time and difficulty or conversion rate. Patients with bactobilia developed more biliary events in the period between ES and LC (44 vs. 28%). After ES for choledochocystolithiasis, 62.5% of patients have bactobilia at the time of surgery. The prevalence of bactobilia increases with age and time. Patients with bactobilia tend to develop more biliary-related complications awaiting surgery.

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