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May 1980

Oral Cholecystography in Assessment of Acute Abdominal Pain

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, the Baltimore City Hospitals the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore.

Arch Surg. 1980;115(5):642-644. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380050064014

• During one year, 77 patients had oral cholecystography within five days of the onset of acute upper abdominal symptoms. These patients were not severely ill, as evidenced by the fact that only 18 were hospitalized. The patients were unselected and the results were reviewed in retrospect. Accordingly, the data cannot be critically analyzed. Nonetheless, diagnostically useful information was obtained in 57 of these cases. In 44 patients, a normal gallbladder was visualized, and in 13 patients gallstones were seen. Three conclusions are derived from this study. First, oral cholecystography can be performed within five days of the onset of acute upper abdominal symptoms with a reasonable expectation of obtaining diagnostically useful information. Second, the usually recommended delay of four to six weeks is unnecessary. Finally, this diagnositc study should be performed in the acute situation when it is not precluded by nausea, vomiting, or a severely ill patient.

(Arch Surg 115:642-644, 1980)