Management Of Medical Complications Of Gallstone Disease
Victorio P. Pidlaoan, S. Krishna
Published 2016 · Medicine
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Because the biliary tree is a low-pressure pathway for excretion of hydrophobic products, bile is vulnerable to precipitation, and once they form, bile crystals or stones rarely dissolve spontaneously. Risk factors for the development of gallstones include female gender, pregnancy, multiparity, chronic hemolytic conditions, obesity, and total parenteral nutrition. Gallstone disease manifests either by obstruction or by erosion. Obstruction may be transient or complete. Obstructive gallstone disease may present as choledocholithiasis, biliary pain, acute gallstone pancreatitis, or ascending cholangitis. Acute pancreatitis is the most common gastrointestinal cause of hospital admission and is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality. Severe acute pancreatitis and ascending cholangitis in the presence of an obstructing gallstone are emergent indications for biliary decompression with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Rarely, gallstones may erode into adjacent structures, causing fistulas that may manifest as biliary obstruction (Mirrizi’s syndrome); biliary enteric fistula, which may manifest as small bowel obstruction (gallstone ileus); or fistulization with other interfacing organ systems, including the integument, vasculature, thorax, or genitourinary system. Patients with gallstone disease often present with familiar signs and symptoms associated with intra-abdominal disease processes. Hence, it is important to deliberate on good clinical practice and elucidate an appropriate differential diagnosis.
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