The very first patient with obstructive jaundice on whom I performed an exploratory operation as a young surgical resident had a single small stone in the common bile duct as the only demonstrable pathologic condition. I still remember the anxiety I experienced until the stone was found, since in my previous surgical education I had not learned about this entity. Of course I have learned that my observation was not original or unique even though some excellent contemporary reviews and textbooks1-9 either do not mention the possible coexistence of stones in the common bile duct with a stoneless gallbladder, or simply state that the condition is rare, without further elaboration. Aird10 does say that "stones which produce obstruction of the common bile duct may have arisen in the common bile duct, in the gallbladder, or in the hepatic or intrahepatic ducts," and devotes one short paragraph to the
HOERR SO. Stoneless Gallbladder but Stones in the Common Bile DuctReport of 10 Cases. Arch Surg. 1962;85(5):821–827. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01310050123020
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