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Surgery. 2013 Oct;154(4):761-7; discussion 767-8. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2013.04.044.

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy for biliary dyskinesia: Which patients have long term benefit?

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  • 1(a)Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL.



Biliary dyskinesia (BD) is described as biliary colic in the absence of gallstones. The diagnosis relies on imaging studies and decreased excretion of bile in response to cholecystokinin during quantitative cholescintigraphy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the success of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) for relieving symptoms in patients diagnosed with BD and correlate gallbladder ejection fraction (EF) with symptom relief.


A retrospective review was performed at a single institution of all patients who underwent LC for BD from January 2005 through January 2012. The diagnosis of BD was determined by a normal gallbladder as viewed with ultrasonography and cholescintigraphy with a gallbladder EF less than or equal to 45%. Data collection included demographics, results of imaging studies, pathologic diagnosis, and early postoperative pain relief. Patients were contacted by phone after being discharged from the surgeon's care for evaluation of symptom relief. Data were analyzed with nonparametric statistical methods, including Mann-Whitney U test, receiver operator characteristic, Fisher exact test, and χ(2) test. All data are expressed as median and 25th and 75th percentile range.


There were 126 patients who had a LC for BD during the study period. The median biliary EF was 20% (10-29%). The most common pathologic finding was chronic cholecystitis (n = 95; 75%). Median length of follow-up in the perioperative period was 11 days (8-17), during which time 98 patients (78%) had relief of symptoms. Phone interviews (n = 53; 42%) confirmed 66% (n = 35) of patients remained free of pain. There was no difference in the mean EF among those with resolution of pain 20% (10-29%) compared with patients with persistent pain 23% (11-29%), P = .62. Obese patients were more likely to have persistent symptoms in the perioperative period with a shift to lower body mass index at the time of the phone survey. Receiver operator characteristic characteristic for the association between scintigraphic EF and resolution of postoperative pain demonstrated no association, with the area under the curve equal to 0.47.


The majority of patients in this series with BD had resolution of symptoms with LC. However, cholescintigraphy EF did not correlate with outcome. Further studies are needed to better identify patients diagnosed with BD who will benefit from LC.

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