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Impact Of Endoscopic Intervention In 100 Patients With Suspected Postcholecystectomy Bile Leak.

A. Kaffes, L. Hourigan, N. de Luca, K. Byth, S. J. Williams, M. Bourke
Published 2005 · Medicine

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BACKGROUND Bile leak is a recognized complication of cholecystectomy. Endoscopic intervention is widely accepted as a treatment for this complication, but the optimal form is not well defined. METHODS An ERCP database was reviewed retrospectively to identify all cases of bile leak related to cholecystectomy. Patient records and endoscopy reports were reviewed, and structured telephone interviews were conducted to collect data. RESULTS A total of 100 patients (61 women, 39 men; mean age, 53 [17] years) with suspected postcholecystectomy bile leak were referred for ERCP. Cholecystectomy was commenced laparoscopically in 83 patients (with an open conversion rate of 30%). The most common symptoms were pain (n = 62) and fever (n = 37). Cholangiography was obtained in 96 patients. A leak was identified in 80/96 patients, the most common site being the cystic-duct stump (48), followed by ducts of Luschka (15), the T-tube site (7), and other sites (10). Treatment included stent insertion alone (40), sphincterotomy alone (18), combination stent/sphincterotomy (31), none (6), and other (1). Three patients with major bile-duct injuries were excluded from the analysis. Endoscopic therapy was unsuccessful in 7 patients (6 in the sphincterotomy alone group; p = 0.001). Four patients underwent surgery subsequent to ERCP to control the leak. All 4 were in the sphincterotomy alone group ( p = 0.001). Post-ERCP pancreatitis developed in 4 patients (3 mild, 1 moderate). CONCLUSIONS The optimal endoscopic intervention for postcholecystectomy bile leak should include temporary insertion of a biliary stent.
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