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September 1983

Acute Cholecystitis and Common-Duct Calculi

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

Arch Surg. 1983;118(9):1063-1064. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390090047010

• The detection of common-duct stones is important in the treatment of patients with acute cholecystitis. The records of 256 patients with histopathologically confirmed acute cholecystitis were reviewed retrospectively. Associated choledocholithiasis was found in 32 (12.5%). Preoperative serum bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase levels were inconsistent predictors of common-duct calculi. Gray-scale ultrasonography is useful in the diagnosis of acute cholecystitis, but its role in the detection of common-duct calculi is uncertain. Dilated bile ducts were found in only three of eight icteric patients examined with ultrasonography. Intraoperative cholangiograms were obtained in 24 of 32 patients with choledocholithiasis, and common-duct stones were successfully demonstrated in 23 of these. Intraoperative cholangiography is a reliable method of detecting common-duct calculi and should be routinely used in the surgical treatment of acute cholecystitis.

(Arch Surg 1983;118:1063-1064)