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Korean J Gastroenterol. 2018 May 25;71(5):247-252. doi: 10.4166/kjg.2018.71.5.247.

[Management of Intrahepatic Duct Stone].

[Article in Korean]

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Soon Chun Hyang University Seoul Hospital, Soon Chun Hyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Intrahepatic duct (IHD) stone is the presence of calculi within the intrahepatic bile duct specifically located proximal to the confluence of the left and right hepatic ducts. This stone is characterized by its intractable nature and frequent recurrence, requiring multiple therapeutic interventions. Without proper treatment, biliary strictures and retained stones can lead to repeated episodes of cholangitis, liver abscesses, secondary biliary cirrhosis, portal hypertension, and death from sepsis or hepatic failure. The ultimate treatment goals for IHD stones are complete removal of the stone, the correction of the associated strictures, and the prevention of recurrent cholangitis. A surgical resection can satisfy the goal of treatment for hepatolithiasis, i.e., complete removal of the IHD stones, stricture, and the risk of cholangiocarcinogenesis. On the other hand, in some cases, such as bilateral IHD stones, surgery alone cannot achieve these goals. Therefore, the optimal treatments require a multidisciplinary approach, including endoscopic and radiologic interventional procedures before and/or after surgery. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangioscopic lithotomy (PTCS-L) is particularly suited for patients at poor surgical risk or who refuse surgery and those with previous biliary surgery or stones distributed in multiple segments. PTCS-L is relatively safe and effective for the treatment of IHD stones, and complete stone clearance is mandatory to reduce the sequelae of IHD stones. An IHD stricture is the main factor contributing to incomplete clearance and stone recurrence. Long-term follow-up is required because of the overall high recurrence rate of IHD stones and the association with cholangiocarcinoma.


Hepatectomy; Hepatolithiasis; Intrahepatic duct stone; Percutaneous transhepatic cholangioscopy; Post-operative cholangioscoopy

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