August 1989

Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangiography and Biliary DecompressionInvasive, Diagnostic, and Therapeutic Procedures With Too High a Price?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Arch Surg. 1989;124(8):885-888. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410080015001

• To investigate and/or treat the causes of jaundice, 221 patients underwent the following procedures over 7 years: percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC) alone (104 patients), PTC with external biliary drainage (69 patients), or PTC with external/internal biliary drainage (48 patients). Forty-nine procedure-related complications occurred in 39 patients (18%). Three patients (1.5%) required an emergency operation for hepatic hemorrhage (2 patients) and a perforated gallbladder (1 patient). Two patients (1%) died as a direct result of the procedure secondary to hemorrhage (1 patient) and sepsis (1 patient). Preoperative biliary decompression, although technically (95%) and physiologically (82%) successful in the majority of patients, had no therapeutic benefit when compared (nonrandomized) with those patients without alleviation of jaundice prior to surgical intervention.

(Arch Surg. 1989;124:885-888)