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HPB Surg. 1998;11(1):23-6.

Spontaneous passage of gallbladder calculi--facilitation by endoscopic sphincterotomy.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.


After endoscopic sphincterotopy (ES) gallbladder motility increases leading to expulsion of crystals and stones. But this is not a universal phenomenon. We evaluated cholangiographic findings in patients emptying their gallbladder after ES for common bile duct (CBD) stones. Cholangiographic features of twenty patients expelling gallbladder calculi after ES were studied. Controls included 20 age and sex matched patients with gallstones and CBD stones, who did not expel gallstones after ES. Of 20 cases in study group, 9 recovered more than 20 stones each in the stool within 7 days of ES. Repeat ERCP showed empty gallbladder in all, whereas CBD was full of stones in 11 of the 20 cases. In the study group, low insertion of the cystic duct was more common (10 vs 0, p < 0.04), the cystic duct made a narrow angle (20 +/- 5 degrees vs 50 +/- 10 degrees, p < 0.04) with CBD before insertion and cystic duct diameter was higher (5 mm vs 2.5 mm, p < 0.04) as compared to controls. We conclude that in patients undergoing ES with intact gallbladder and small gallbladder calculi, spontaneous emptying of gallbladder calculi occurs, if cystic duct is wider, has low insertion and makes narrow angle with CBD before insertion.

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