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Br J Surg. 1984 Mar;71(3):234-8.

Surgical experience of deeply jaundiced patients with bile duct obstruction.


One hundred and twenty consecutive deeply jaundiced patients undergoing surgery for bile duct obstruction were analysed. Diagnosis by either ultrasound or percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography was correct in 84 per cent and 86 per cent of patients respectively. Combination of the two procedures resulted in a diagnostic accuracy of 96.5 per cent. Despite pre-operative antibiotics and intravenous fluids, including Mannitol, infective complications and renal failure were common. Gastrointestinal haemorrhage was a major cause of postoperative morbidity and mortality. The operative mortality in this series was 14.2 per cent and was related to the depth of jaundice in patients with benign disease. The same relationship did not appear to occur in those with malignant disease. The median survival after palliative bypass surgery in patients with malignant obstruction was 6.5 months.

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