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Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2013 May;29(3):329-35. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0b013e32835ee169.

Genetics and treatment of bile duct stones: new approaches.

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1
Department of Medicine II, Saarland University Medical Center, Homburg, Germany.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

The global burden of gallstones is increasing. Although the gallbladder is the most common site for gallstone formation, 10-25% of patients display concurrent gallbladder and bile duct stones. Secondary stones are differentiated from primary stones that develop de novo in the biliary tree. Overall, the natural history of bile duct stones is less well defined and their diagnosis and treatment are more complex as compared to gallbladder stones.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Elevated liver function tests are not always reflective of bile duct stones, and noninvasive diagnosis by endoscopic ultrasound or MRI should be pursued in ambiguous cases. For treatment, recent studies report endoscopic dilation to result in similar clearance but lower complication and recurrence rates as with sphincterotomy. Pharmacological adjuvants such as ursodeoxycholic acid with sphincterotomy and stenting have been suggested for elderly patients. Indication and timing of cholecystectcomy after endoscopic treatment of bile duct stones is critical, and early cholecystectomy within 3-7 days prevents recurrent biliary events.

SUMMARY:

In this review we address the pathophysiology of bile duct stones and present the latest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of this challenging condition, with a consideration of stone recurrence.

PMID:
23449025
DOI:
10.1097/MOG.0b013e32835ee169
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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