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Br J Surg. 1987 Oct;74(10):916-21.

Study of common bile duct exploration and endoscopic sphincterotomy in a consecutive series of 438 patients.

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Leicester Royal Infirmary, UK.


The outcome of 438 consecutive patients who had exploration of the common bile duct and/or endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) in a 5-year period was reviewed. Patients were analysed according to four groups: 59 patients had planned ES followed by surgery resulting in 14 major complications (23.7 per cent) including 3 deaths (5.1 per cent) (group 1); 248 patients had surgery alone with 21 major complications (8.5 per cent) including 10 deaths (4.0 per cent) (group 2); 114 patients with gallbladder in situ underwent ES alone with 22 major complications (19.3 per cent) including 9 deaths (7.9 per cent) (group 3); 17 patients with remote cholecystectomy also had ES alone with 3 major complications (17.6 per cent) including 3 deaths (17.6 per cent) (group 4). There was no difference in mortality between the groups. Compared with group 2, major complications were significantly higher in group 1 (chi 2 = 11.0, d.f. = 1, P less than 0.001) and in group 3 (chi 2 = 8.6, d.f. = 1, P less than 0.003). Patients in group 3, however, were significantly older than those in groups 1 and 2, and the former also had higher medical and total risk factor scores than the latter (all P less than 0.001). The results indicate that routine pre-operative ES is of questionable value. ES alone is justified in elderly high risk patients; mortality in this group might be reduced by improved management of post-ES complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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