Postgrad Med 2000 Sep 1;108(3):143-6, 149-53 [Texto completo] Gallstones, from gallbladder to gut. Management options for diverse complications.
Agrawal S, Jonnalagadda S
Division of Gastroenterology, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine, USA.
Gallstones may be incidental and asymptomatic or painful and accompanied by life-threatening obstruction or infection. A thorough knowledge of potential complications is therefore critical, especially because some asymptomatic stones require prompt treatment. In this article, Drs Agrawal and Jonnalagadda provide valuable instructions for recognizing and treating the various manifestations of gallstone disease.
Publication Types:
Review, tutorial

Surg Clin North Am 2000 Aug;80(4):1127-49
Update on laparoscopic cholecystectomy, including a clinical pathway.
Gadacz TR
Department of Surgery, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, USA. [email protected]
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive procedure in which the gallbladder is removed. Patients with symptomatic gallstones or biliary dyskinesis are eligible for this procedure. No specific contraindications exist except for poor surgical risk factors. The rate of conversion to an open technique is increased in patients with acute disease, pancreatitis, bleeding disorders, unusual anatomy, and prior upper abdominal surgery. Complications occur even with experienced laparoscopists, and the important technical aspects of surgery have been identified. The length of the hospital stay and postoperative recovery time is markedly shortened compared with that of standard cholecystectomy. This procedure offers sufficient advantages to patients that it has become the standard of practice in most cases.
Publication Types:
Review, tutorial

Radiographics 2000 May-Jun;20(3):751-66 [Texto completo] Gallbladder stones: imaging and intervention.
Bortoff GA, Chen MY, Ott DJ, Wolfman NT, Routh WD
Department of Radiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1088, USA.
Imaging of the gallbladder for cholelithiasis and its complications has changed dramatically in recent decades along with expansion of interventional techniques related to the disease. Ultrasonography (US) is the method of choice for detection of gallstones. The characteristic US findings of gallstones are a highly reflective echo from the anterior surface of the gallstone, mobility of the gallstone on repositioning the patient, and marked posterior acoustic shadowing. Oral cholecystography remains an excellent method of gallstone detection, but its role has been limited due to the advantages of US. Most people with cholelithiasis will not experience symptoms or complications related to gallstones. When biliary colic does occur, it is typically caused by transient obstruction of the cystic duct by a stone. The primary imaging modality in suspected acute calculous cholecystitis is usually US or cholescintigraphy. Detection of gallstones alone does not permit a diagnosis of acute cholecystitis; however, secondary US findings provide more specific information. In detection of choledocholithiasis, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography are superior to US. In certain clinical settings, interventional radiologic procedures have become an important alternative to surgery in the treatment of gallstones and their complications; techniques include percutaneous cholecystostomy and gallstone removal.
Publication Types:
Review, tutorial

Surg Endosc 2000 Mar;14(3):267-71
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy and interventional endoscopy for gallstone complications during pregnancy.
Sungler P, Heinerman PM, Steiner H, Waclawiczek HW, Holzinger J, Mayer F, Heuberger A, Boeckl O
I. Chirurgische Abteilung und Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institut fur experimentelle und gastroenterologische Chirurgie, Landeskliniken Salzburg, Austria.
BACKGROUND: Symptomatic or complicated gallstone disease is the most common reason for nongynecological operations during pregnancy. Gallstones are present in 12% of all pregnancies, and more than one-third of patients fail medical treatment and therefore require surgical endoscopy or laparoscopy. Gallstone pancreatitis and jaundice during pregnancy is associated with a high recurrence rate, exposing both fetus and mother to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. METHODS: During a 4-year period, all pregnant patients (n = 37) with symptomatic or complicated gallstone disease were studied prospectively at the Landeskrankenhaus in Salzburg, Austria. Five patients had an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) for biliary pancreatitis or jaundice; two of these underwent subsequent laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Another seven patients required laparoscopic cholecystectomy for severe pain or cholecystitis; all were in their 13th-32nd gestational week. Access was established by Veress needle in all cases. Insufflation pressure was 8-10 mm Hg, and mean operative time was 62 min. RESULTS: All patients delivered full-term, healthy babies. There were no postendoscopic or postoperative complications. All patients enjoyed full relief from their symptoms; there were no recurrences of pancreatitis or jaundice. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of ERCP and laparoscopic cholecystectomy offers a safe and effective option for the definitive treatment of complicated gallstone disease and intractable pain during pregnancy, and there is sufficient access for the combined treatment to be employed.
Publication Types:
Review of reported cases

Am Surg 2000 Feb;66(2):138-44 [Texto completo] Surgical treatment of biliary tract infections.
Lillemoe KD
Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Despite major advances in surgical and nonsurgical therapy, biliary tract infections remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. The two classic biliary tract infections most commonly encountered are acute cholecystitis (either calculous or acalculous) and acute cholangitis. In addition, bile leakage associated with bile duct injuries during laparoscopic cholecystectomy has become a problem not infrequently encountered by surgeons. Acute calculous cholecystitis results from a combination of mechanical, biochemical, and infectious mechanisms, initiated by stone impaction in the cystic duct. After instituting empiric antibiotics, early laparoscopic cholecystectomy should be performed. Although conversion to open cholecystectomy is more common than in chronic cholecystitis, there appears to be no increased morbidity or mortality in that setting. Acute acalculous cholecystitis usually occurs in critically ill patients and may present both a diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma. Aggressive management, however, is warranted, both because of the critical nature of illness in these patients and the high incidence of perforation. Percutaneous cholecystostomy is indicated, particularly in high-risk patients both for diagnosis and treatment. Acute cholangitis results from a combination of bactibilia and biliary obstruction. The majority of patients can be successfully managed with intravenous antibiotics and fluid resuscitation. In those patients in whom initial management is not successful, biliary drainage, which is best accomplished nonoperatively, should be instituted. There is a very limited role for early surgical intervention in acute suppurative cholangitis. Biliary leaks resulting in bile «peritonitis» or bilomas are common sequelae of laparoscopic bile duct injury. Although surgeons may feel it is necessary to operate urgently, delineation of the proximal biliary anatomy via percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography and biliary stent placement is the appropriate first step in management. This procedure will usually control the bile leak and allow delineation of the anatomy and opportune timing of definitive reconstruction.
Publication Types:
Review, tutorial

Am Surg 2000 Jan;66(1):33-7 [Texto completo] Percutaneous cholecystostomy is an effective treatment for high-risk patients with acute cholecystitis.
Patel M, Miedema BW, James MA, Marshall JB
Division of Gastroenterology, University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics, Columbia, USA.
We sought to determine the safety, efficacy, and outcome of percutaneous cholecystostomy (PC) in all patients undergoing the procedure at our institutions. We reviewed 53 consecutive cases of acute cholecystitis seen at our hospitals over 5.5 years in which PC was performed at the initial treatment. Follow-up was obtained by chart review and telephone questionnaire. Acute cholecystitis was the primary admitting diagnosis in 18 cases. In the remaining 35, cholecystitis developed during hospitalization. All patients were considered high surgical risks on the basis of the presence of comorbid conditions. The gallbladder was successfully catheterized under radiologic guidance in all patients and with no immediate procedure-related morbidity. Acute cholecystitis resolved in 44 of 53 patients (83%), whereas nine patients (17%) did not improve clinically after PC and died during the same hospitalization. A total of 33 (62%) eventually survived hospitalization. Elective cholecystectomy was done in 25 patients with no mortality. After cholecystectomy, three of these patients subsequently died of other causes, whereas 22 are alive. Eight patients did not undergo cholecystectomy because of underlying medical conditions or because they had acalculous cholecystitis. These patients remained free of biliary problems after removal of their cholecystostomy tube, but two have subsequently died of nonbiliary conditions. Percutaneous cholecystostomy is a safe, effective treatment for high-risk patients with acute cholecystitis. Cholecystostomy can be followed by elective cholecystectomy at a later time if the patient’s condition permits or by expectant conservative management in patients who have had acalculous cholecystitis or have a very high mortality risk with surgery.

Arch Surg 1999 Jul;134(7):727-31; discussion 731-2
Effective use of percutaneous cholecystostomy in high-risk surgical patients: techniques, tube management, and results.
Davis CA, Landercasper J, Gundersen LH, Lambert PJ
Department of Surgery, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse, Wis. 54601, USA.
HYPOTHESIS: Percutaneous cholecystostomy (PC) is an effective, safe treatment in patients with suspected acute cholecystitis and severe concomitant comorbidity. DESIGN: Retrospective medical record review from March 1989 to March 1998. SETTING: Referral community teaching hospital (450 beds) in rural Wisconsin. PATIENTS: Twenty-two consecutive patients underwent PC tube placement over a 10-year period. Twenty procedures were for acute cholecystitis (14 calculous, 6 acalculous) and 2 were for diagnostic dilemmas. Nineteen (86%) of 22 patients were American Society of Anesthesiologists class 4; 3 (14%) were class 3. INTERVENTIONS: Pigtail catheters (8F-10F) placed by means of ultrasound or computed tomographic localization, with or without fluoroscopic adjunct. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Thirty-day mortality, complications, clinical improvement as determined by fever and pain resolution, normalization of leukocytosis, further biliary procedures required, and outcome after drain removal. RESULTS: Twenty-two patients underwent PC for presumed acute cholecystitis based on ultrasound and clinical findings. All patients received antibiotics prior to PC for 24 or more hours. Thirty-day mortality was 36% (8 patients), reflecting severity of concomitant disease. Minor complications occurred in 3 of 22 patients. Clinical improvement occurred in 18 (82%) of 22 patients-15 (68%) within 48 hours. Follow-up of fourteen 30-day survivors is as follows: 7 (50%) had drains removed because the gallbladder was stone free, 4 (29%) had drains remaining due to persistent stones, 2 (14%) underwent cholecystectomy, and 1 (7%) awaits scheduled surgery. Only 1 (12.5%) of 8 patients developed biliary complications after drain removal, requiring endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography 9 months after drain removal. One patient required urgent cholecystectomy after failure to respond to PC. This patient died of a perioperative myocardial infarction. CONCLUSIONS: Percutaneous cholecystostomy is an effective, safe treatment in patients with suspected acute cholecystitis and severe concomitant comorbidity. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is recommended as definitive treatment for patients whose risk for general anesthesia improves in follow-up. Drains can be safely removed once all gallstones are cleared. In patients with severe concomitant disease, drains can be left with a low incidence of complications if stones remain.

Am Surg 1999 Jul;65(7):606-9; discussion 610
Laparoscopic transcystic management of choledocholithiasis.
Hyser MJ, Chaudhry V, Byrne MP
Department of Surgery, St. Francis Hospital, Evanston, Illinois, USA.
Our objective was to review our community hospital experience with laparoscopic management of choledocholithiasis from 1991 to 1997. We performed a retrospective review of all case records of patients with choledocholithiasis managed surgically at St. Francis Hospital during the study period. Data
regarding the history, presentation, investigations, operative details, and follow-up were recorded. Procedures were performed by multiple attending surgeons supervising surgical residents. All common bile duct explorations (CBDEs) were performed by a transcystic approach and followed routine cholangiography. In most cases, cystic duct dilatation over a guide wire was followed by transcystic CBDE with choledochoscopy. Stone extraction was accomplished through a combination of flushing, basket manipulation, fragmentation, retrieval, or advancement of stones through the ampulla. Data were analyzed using SPSS computer software, and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. During the period of study there were 1053 laparoscopic cholecystectomies with and without cholangiography and 100 total CBDE performed. Of these, 54/100 had an attempt at laparoscopic CBDE. There were 39 females and 15 males, with a median age of 52 years (range 14-88). Presentation included acute cholecystitis or biliary colic (63%), gallstone pancreatitis (20%), and jaundice or cholangitis (17%). Successful laparoscopic stone removal was achieved in 36 of 54 (67%) cases. Eighteen of the remainder (33%) were converted to an open procedure. Size, number, position of stones, technical difficulties in accessing the common bile duct, and patient factors contributed to open conversion. The rate of successful laparoscopic CBDE improved for each individual surgeon from an average of 22 per cent in the first half of the study period (1991-1994) to 87 per cent in the second half (1995-1997). There was no operative mortality. Significant morbidity in the laparoscopic group included one retained stone and two cases of postoperative pancreatitis. There were three false negative preoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography examinations. Multivariate analysis showed that experience of the individual surgeon was the only significant factor predicting successful laparoscopic CBDE. Low initial success rate in the early phase of the study period improved dramatically to reach an overall success rate of 87 per cent in the second half. Laparoscopic management of common bile duct stones is possible in a community setting with a high success rate and minimal morbidity. It precludes excessive use of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography with its own set of complications but is associated with a significant learning curve. It is currently our preferred therapeutic approach for choledocholithiasis discovered pre- or intraoperatively. Drugs 1999 Jan;57(1):81-91 Biliary tract infections: a guide to drug treatment. Westphal JF, Brogard JM Department of Internal Medicine, Medical B Clinic, University Hospital of Strasbourg, France. Initial therapy of acute cholecystitis and cholangitis is directed towards general support of the patient, including fluid and electrolyte replacement, correction of metabolic imbalances and antibacterial therapy. Factors affecting the efficacy of antibacterial therapy include the activity of the agent against the common biliary tract pathogens and pharmacokinetic properties such as tissue distribution and the ratio of concentration in both bile and serum to the minimum inhibitory concentration for the expected micro-organism. Antimicrobial therapy is usually empirical. Initial therapy should cover the Enterobacteriaceae, in particular Escherichia coli. Activity against enterococci is not required since their pathogenicity in biliary tract infections remains unclear. Coverage of anaerobes, in particular Bacteroides spp., is warranted in patients with previous bile duct-bowel anastomosis, in the elderly and in patients in serious clinical condition. In patients with acute cholecystitis or cholangitis of moderate clinical severity, monotherapy with a ureidopenicillin--mezlocillin or piperacillin--is at least as effective as the combination of ampicillin plus aminoglycoside. In severely ill patients with septicaemia, an antibacterial combination is preferable. Therapy with aminoglycosides, mostly for Pseudomonas aeruginosa-related infections, should not exceed a few days because the risk of nephrotoxicity seems to be increased during cholestasis. Relief of biliary obstruction is mandatory, even if there is clinical improvement with conservative therapy, because cholangitis is most likely to recur with continued obstruction. Emergency invasive therapy is reserved for patients who fail to show a clinical response to antibacterial therapy within the first 36 to 48 hours or for those who deteriorate after an initial clinical improvement. Immediate surgery is indicated for gangrenous cholecystitis and perforation with peritonitis. Long-term administration of antibacterials is required for recurrent cholangitis, as seen in bile duct-bowel anastomosis. Oral cotrimoxazole (trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole) is the preferred agent. Wound infection rates after biliary tract surgery can be significantly reduced by preoperative administration of prophylactic antibacterials. Newer generation beta-lactams have not proven to be of greater benefit than older agents such as cefuroxime or cefazolin. Antibacterial prophylaxis before endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) should be reserved for patients with obstructive jaundice, since the risk of infectious complications seems to be strongly associated with this clinical condition. Failure to achieve full biliary drainage is the most important factor in predicting septicaemia, and prophylaxis should be prolonged until the bile duct is unobstructed. Piperacillin, cefazolin, cefuroxime, cefotaxime and ciprofloxacin are effective for this indication. Publication Types: Review Review, tutorial Am Surg 1998 Oct;64(10):955-7 Laparoscopic management of acute cholecystitis with subtotal cholecystectomy. Ransom KJ Department of Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA. Approximately 20 per cent of laparoscopic cholecystectomies performed for acute cholecystitis require conversion to open cholecystectomy because of severe inflammation. In a retrospective review of 125 consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery for gallbladder disease from January 1995 through June 1997, 31 had acute cholecystitis. Eight patients underwent a subtotal cholecystectomy because of severe inflammation. There were no conversions to open cholecystectomy and no intraoperative complications. Selected patients were evaluated and treated for common duct stones with preoperative endoscopy to avoid intraoperative cholangiography. One patient had a retained common duct stone successfully managed with postoperative endoscopy. Laparoscopic subtotal cholecystectomy is a safe and effective alternative to conversion to open cholecystectomy for severe inflammation associated with acute cholecystitis. Endoscopic assessment and treatment of common duct stones when indicated either before or after surgery omits the use of intraoperative cholangiography and potential injury to the inflamed ducts. Am Surg 1998 May;64(5):471-5 Acute acalculous cholecystitis: incidence, risk factors, diagnosis, and outcome. Kalliafas S, Ziegler DW, Flancbaum L, Choban PS Department of Surgery, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA. The objective of this study was to review the incidence, risk factors, methods of diagnosis, and outcome of acute acalculous cholecystitis (AAC) and to identify the sensitivity and limitations of current radiographic modalities used to establish the diagnosis. Our study was a retrospective chart review in a tertiary-care university hospital. Over a 53-month period, 27 cases of AAC (17 males, 10 females; mean age 50 years; mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score, 17) were encountered. Of these, 14 (52%) occurred in critically ill patients and 17 (63%) in patients recovering from non-biliary tract operations. AAC occurred in 0.19 per cent of surgical intensive care unit admissions and accounted for 14 per cent (27 of 188) of all cases of acute cholecystitis. Presenting symptoms and laboratory values were nonspecific. Twenty patients had radiographic studies before surgery. Among the various radiological studies used for AAC, morphine cholescintigraphy had the highest sensitivity (9 of 10; 90%), followed by computed tomography (8 of 12; 67%) and ultrasonography (2 of 7; 29%). Ten of the 20 patients had more than one study done preoperatively. All 27 patients had an open cholecystectomy. AAC was associated with a high incidence of gangrene (17 of 27 cases; 63%), perforation (4 of 27; 15%), and abscess (1 of 27; 4%). The mortality rate was 41 per cent (11 of 27). We conclude that AAC is a rare, but potentially lethal, disease occurring in critically ill patients and those recovering from non-biliary tract operations. The clinical presentation is nonspecific, and significant delays in diagnosis result in a high incidence of gangrene, perforation, abscess, and death. To improve outcome, a high index of suspicion with early radiographic evaluation, often employing multiple studies, is necessary. An algorithm for the evaluation of patients for suspected AAC is proposed. South Med J 1997 Nov;90(11):1087-90 [Texto completo] Cholecystectomy alleviates acalculous biliary pain in patients with a reduced gallbladder ejection fraction. Khosla R, Singh A, Miedema BW, Marshall JB Division of Gastroenterology, University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics, Columbia, USA. BACKGROUND: We sought to determine whether a reduced gallbladder ejection fraction, (GBEF) ascertained by cholecystokinin-cholescintigraphy (CCK-CS), predicts symptomatic improvement after cholecystectomy. METHODS: Medical records of patients who had had CCK-CS as well as negative results of gallbladder ultrasonography were reviewed, and patients were contacted by telephone to determine whether they had benefited from cholecystectomy. RESULTS: There were 35 patients (33 female, 2 male) who had a decreased GBEF. Cholecystectomy was done in 30, of whom 20 (67%) had resolution of pain, 8 (27%) had partial improvement, and 2 (7%) had no change. The 5 who declined cholecystectomy included none (0%) who were pain free, 2 (40%) who had partial improvement, and 3 (60%) who had no change. The clinical outcome of the two groups was significantly different. There were 14 patients (10 female, 4 male) with a normal GBEF. The 2 patients who had cholecystectomy were asymptomatic. Of the 12 patients who did not have cholecystectomy, 9 (75%) were asymptomatic, 1 (8%) had some improvement, and 2 (17%) had no change. CONCLUSIONS: Cholecystectomy is indicated for patients with acalculous biliary pain and reduced GBEF, since symptoms will likely resolve with surgery and will persist without it. Cholecystectomy for patients with a normal GBEF should be considered only after failure of a nonoperative trial, since improvement usually occurs over time. Publication Types: Review Review of reported cases Am J Surg 1997 Oct;174(4):414-6 Surgical therapy for 101 patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and symptomatic cholecystitis. Leiva JI, Etter EL, Gathe J, Bonefas ET, Melartin R, Gathe JC Department of Medical Education, St. Joseph Hospital, Houston, Texas 77002, USA. BACKGROUND: Hepatobiliary disease in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been well documented. Cytomegalovirus and Cryptosporidium are the pathogens most frequently associated. Previous reports of cholecystectomies and AIDS have had conflicting results on morbidity and mortality. METHOD: Retrospective review of 101 patients with AIDS and symptomatic cholecystitis who underwent cholecystectomy from December 1989 to May 1995. RESULTS: All patients had symptoms characteristic of gallbladder disease, the most common being abdominal pain and fever. Thickening of the gallbladder was the most common diagnostic finding. Fifty-six patients underwent open cholecystectomy and 45 laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Pathologic examination revealed an abnormal gallbladder in all cases and gallstones in 29%. A specific pathogen or malignancy was identified as the etiologic agent in 44% of patients. Perioperative morbidity was similar (<5%) in both surgical groups. Perioperative mortality was 4% among all the patients treated. CONCLUSIONS: Both open and laparoscopic cholecystectomy improved the quality of life of these patients and should be considered as the treatment for persistent hepatobiliary symptoms in patients with AIDS. Surg Endosc 1996 Dec;10(12):1180-4 Acute cholecystitis. Does the clinical diagnosis correlate with the pathological diagnosis? Fitzgibbons RJ, Tseng A, Wang H, Ryberg A, Nguyen N, Sims KL Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Creighton University, 601 North 30th Street, Omaha, NE 68131, USA. BACKGROUND: Most of the literature dealing with the surgical management of acute cholecystitis bases patient selection on pathological diagnosis, either exclusively or using it as a major selection criteria or as a confirmation of diagnosis. The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation between preoperative clinical findings, intraoperative gross findings, and postoperative pathological findings. METHODS: A retrospective review of 493 consecutive laparoscopic cholecystectomies performed by a single surgeon (RJF) in a single institution was done. Four different sets of criteria were used to define four groups of patients as having acute cholecystitis: (1) preoperative acute cholecystitis based on defined criteria (PA); (2) intraoperative gross findings of acute or subacute cholecystitis based on surgeon assessment of inflammation (IA); (3) initial pathological evaluation by a staff pathologist (IP); and (4) expert pathological (EP) review using strictly defined histological criteria. RESULTS: Of 41 patients, 40 (97.6%) were classified as having acute cholecystitis by IA, 21 (51.2%) by IP, and 17 (41.5%) by EP. Of the 75 patients classified as having acute cholecystitis by IA, 40 (53.0%) were classified acute by PA, 34 (45. 0%) by IP, and 17 (22.7%) by EP. Of the 72 IP patients, 34 (47.2%) were classified as acute by IA, 15 (20.8%) by EP, and 24 (33.3%) were PA. Of the 32 EP patients, 21 (65.6%) were classified as acute by IA, 14 (43.8%) by IP, and 18 (56.3%) were PA. CONCLUSION: The correlation between the pathological diagnosis and intraoperative findings is poor. Preoperative clinical findings of acute cholecystitis are highly reliable for predicting intraoperative gross findings. However, intraoperative findings of acute cholecystitis are commonly found in the absence of preoperative clinical signs. Recommendations for surgical therapy should be based on studies which use either operative findings or the preoperative clinical findings as the basis for patient selection.


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