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World J Surg. 2012 Nov;36(11):2661-5. doi: 10.1007/s00268-012-1715-9.

Role of intraoperative cholangiography in patients whose biliary tree was evaluated preoperatively by magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography.

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Division of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-2 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku Kobe 650-0017, Japan.



Routine performance of intraoperative cholangiography (IOC) during cholecystectomy is controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of IOC during cholecystectomy in addition to preoperative magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) in our institution over a 12-year period.


A total of 425 consecutive patients who underwent IOC during cholecystectomy were included in this study. MRCP was performed preoperatively for bile duct evaluation in all patients. When common bile duct (CBD) stones were detected, they were removed endoscopically before the operation. We estimated the results of IOC in terms of the success rate, the detection rate of anatomic abnormality of the biliary system, and the incidence of residual CBD stones.


MRCP preoperatively identified 6 (1.4 %) patients with abnormal biliary systems and 56 with CBD stones, which were endoscopically removed. The success rate of IOC was 93.8 % (399/425). Abnormalities of the biliary system were detected in 12 patients (12/399, 3.0 %) and CBD stones in 8 (8/399, 2.0 %). Of the eight patients with stones, seven had been examined by endoscopy preoperatively and found to have CBD stones. The detection rate of bile duct stones in patients with preoperative endoscopic removal of CBD stones (7/56, 12.5 %) was significantly higher than those with CBD stones first detected during IOC (1/365, 0.3 %) (p < 0.01). Moreover, no residual CBD stones were detected in patients who were operated on within fewer than 12 days from endoscopic treatment to the operation.


IOC is indicated even after preoperative sphincterotomy for CBD stones. In our study, it resulted in a 12.5 % incidence of persistent stones after sphincterotomy. IOC plays an additional role in detecting CBD stones and in revealing abnormalities of the biliary tree in patients whose biliary tree was preoperatively evaluated by MRCP.

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