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Br J Surg. 1982 Feb;69(2):86-90.

The surgical management of primary intrahepatic stones.


Primary intrahepatic stones are commonly found in association with recurrent pyogenic cholangitis. In 115 patients with this condition, the intrahepatic stones were removed by four different methods: common duct exploration (n = 74), transhepatic intubation (n = 10), hepatotomy (n = 5) and hepatic resection (n = 26). The choice of methods was guided by the location of stones and the condition of the bile ducts and the liver. These extraction procedures were combined with drainage procedures, i.e. sphincteroplasty and choledochojejunostomy, whenever the proper indications were present. The operative mortality was 4.3 per cent. Long term follow-up (median 7 years and 8 months) on 91 patients revealed that common duct exploration, transhepatic intubation and hepatotomy were associated with high incidences of recurrent symptoms requiring reoperation (23.6 per cent, 37.5 per cent and 75 per cent respectively). In most instances, failures were due to recurrent stone formation in the stenotic intrahepatic ducts. Hepatic resection had the lowest failure rate (4.2 per cent) and none of the patients had recurrent stones.

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