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May 1981

Endoscopic Retrograde CholangiopancreatographyIts Use in the Evaluation of Nonjaundiced Patients With the Postcholecystectomy Syndrome

Arch Surg. 1981;116(5):606-609. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1981.01380170086015

• Forty-two patients with the postcholecystectomy syndrome were studied by endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Both the biliary ductal system and pancreatic duct were well visualized in all patients. The ERCP was abnormal in 22 patients (52%). Abnormal findings included choledocholithiasis, papillary stenosis, pancreas divisum, pancreatic carcinoma, sclerosing cholangitis, incomplete cholecystectomy, and chronic pancreatitis. The results of one or more standard liver function tests and/or other noninvasive tests were abnormal in 36 patients; however, none reliably predicted the presence or specific anatomical type of pancreaticobiliary tract disease. Our data indicate that ERCP is essential in the diagnosis and management of the postcholecystectomy syndrome. The high yield of abnormal findings amenable to surgical correction in patients with recurrent biliary tract symptoms following cholecystectomy justifies the use of this procedure in all such patients.

(Arch Surg 1981;116:606-609)