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February 1955

CHOLANGIOGRAPHY: A Critical Analysis

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Departments of Radiology and Surgery, The New York Hospital and Cornell Medical Center.

AMA Arch Surg. 1955;70(2):237-252. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270080083015

CHOLANGIOGRAPHY is the roentgenologic or roentgenoscopic examination of the biliary tract with the aid of a radiopaque medium instilled into the bile ducts, usually through a tube or needle. The history of the development of the procedure from the first instillation of barium paste in a biliary fistula, in 1918, to the more modern postoperative cholangiogram as first used by Saralegui, in 1926, and the operative cholangiogram as described by Mirizzi, in 1931, has been discussed rather extensively elsewhere * and will not be reviewed further.

The value of cholangiography in providing the surgeon with detailed anatomic and pathologic information has been attested to frequently.† It also has been agreed by many authors ‡ that this procedure will lower the incidence of unnecessary common duct explorations, especially in patients who are poor surgical risks, and thus increase the safety of biliary tract surgery. Secondary operations can be avoided by use of

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