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Ductal dilatation and stenting for residual hepatolithiasis: a promising treatment strategy
  1. S-M Sheen-Chen,
  2. Y-F Cheng,
  3. F-C Chen,
  4. F-F Chou,
  5. T-Y Lee
  1. Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery and Diagnostic Radiology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Chang Gung Medical College, Kaohsiung Hsien, Taiwan
  1. Dr S-M Sheen-Chen, Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Chang Gung Medical College, 123 Ta-Pei Road, Niao-Sung Hsiang, Kaohsiung Hsien, Taiwan.


Background and aims—Hepatolithiasis is prevalent in south-east Asia and presents a difficult management problem. Intrahepatic strictures with or without awkward ductal angulation of the biliary tree are the main reasons for the reported high incidence of postoperative residual stones. Without proper treatment, biliary strictures and residual stones can lead to repeated episodes of cholangitis, liver abscess, secondary biliary cirrhosis, portal hypertension, and death from sepsis or hepatic failure. The purposes of our treatment strategy were to achieve complete clearance of the stones and relief of bile stasis.

Methods—From January 1991 to July 1992, 90 patients with residual postoperative hepatolithiasis and intrahepatic strictures were treated. Postoperative ductal dilatation with percutaneous transhepatic cholangioscopy tube stenting through a mature T tube tract was performed. Choledochoscopic electrohydraulic lithotripsy was applied when impacted or large stones were encountered.

Results—Complete clearance of stones was achieved in 78 patients (87%). Mild haemobilia occurred in five patients (5.5%) and fever developed in seven patients (7.7%), and these patients recovered after conservative treatment. The rate of stone recurrence after a mean follow up of 43 months was 8%. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma developed in one patient (1.1%).

Conclusion—Postoperative ductal dilatation and stenting, combined with endoscopic electrohydraulic lithotripsy when indicated, is an effective and safe treatment with a low recurrence rate for complicated residual hepatolithiasis with biliary stricture.

  • hepatolithiasis
  • biliary stricture
  • electrohydraulic lithotripsy
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