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Am J Gastroenterol. 1995 Feb;90(2):233-8.

Endoscopic sphincterotomy and biliary drainage in patients with cholangitis due to common bile duct stones.

Author information

1
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

In a prospective study, we analyzed 95 consecutive patients undergoing endoscopic papillotomy (EP) for cholangitis due to common bile duct (CBD) stones; our purpose was to evaluate the risk factors influencing the complication rate due to cholangitis, with special attention to the clinical history.

METHODS:

Patients with previous gastric surgery or EP were excluded. Complications subsequent to sphincterotomy were recorded over a 3-month period.

RESULTS:

In patients with persistent cholangitis before EP, the risk for complications due to cholangitis increased with increasing delay between the onset of cholangitis and biliary drainage. In patients with a good response to antibiotics before EP, the delay in biliary drainage did not influence the risk of complications. After complete CBD stone removal, the morbidity (42% vs. 4%, p = 0.001) and the mortality (8% vs. 0%, NS) due to cholangitis were much higher in 12 patients with progressive cholangitis for > 3 days before biliary drainage, compared with 73 cases who had experienced a good response to antibiotics before EP and/or early drainage (< 3 days) after the onset of cholangitis. Two patients with advanced cholangitis and septic shock at the time of EP died < 12 h after completed sphincterotomy with CBD stone removal. Three patients with retained CBD stones and failed biliary drainage after EP experienced disastrous morbidity (100% vs. 9%, p < 0.01) and mortality (67% vs. 1%, p < 0.01) due to cholangitis, compared with 85 patients without retained CBD stone(s).

CONCLUSIONS:

We recommend emergency biliary drainage in all patients presenting with calculous cholangitis who are severely ill with continuous fever for several days. Emergency nasobiliary drainage without EP or after a limited EP may be a safer treatment in patients with (impending) septic shock. We believe that a more conservative approach is justified in patients presenting with symptoms of mild cholangitis, restricting emergency biliary drainage for those who do not respond rapidly (< 24 h) to antibiotics. Further emergency surgical or percutaneous biliary drainage should be performed immediately on patients in whom CBD stones are retained, after EP and drainage fails, especially if a stone is left impacted distally.

PMID:
7847292
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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