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Am J Surg. 1983 Aug;146(2):241-4.

Intrahepatic stones: the Taiwan experience.


From 1970 to 1979, 95 patients with intrahepatic stones were seen. Since 1974, however, the annual rate of cases has been only half that of the previous decades. Patients with this disease are young; onset of symptoms in over a third of the patients occurred before 20 years of age and in 14 patients before 15 years. Average length of time between onset of symptoms and definitive diagnosis was 8.3 years. Southeast Asian stones are multiple, soft, muddy, pigmented, and located in the primary and secondary biliary radicles (particularly in the left hepatic lobe). Transhepatic cholangiography is the best diagnostic maneuver. Many procedures have been tried but no one procedure is entirely satisfactory. Previously unoperated patients (44) had cholecystectomy and exploration of the common bile duct. Patients whose stones recurred after exploration needed reoperation after an average of 2.5 years; patients whose stones recurred after cholecystectomy were seen an average of 5.7 years later, and 11 of 18 were treated medically. The mortality rate was surprisingly low.

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