Indexed on: 12 Dec '07Published on: 12 Dec '07Published in: Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
We investigated the usefulness of magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) and the need for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in patients with clinically suspicious spontaneous passage of bile duct stones.The study population consisted of 113 patients suspected of having common duct bile stones. Of them, 50 patients were clinically suspected of spontaneous passage of bile duct stones based on the presence of gallbladder stones on ultrasound examination or a history of common bile duct stones after cholecystectomy, clinical symptoms including abdominal pain and fever associated with inflammatory reaction and marked rise of hepatobiliary enzymes which resolved or normalized after conservative treatment without evidence of stones in the common bile duct on MRCP. These 50 patients were prospectively followed up for a median of 10.2 months.All patients except for one had had no symptoms related to cholangitis. Only one patient received ERCP due to recurrence of symptoms after 6 months.When clinical symptoms improve, hematological parameters normalize, and MRCP indicates that there are no stones in the common bile duct, it can be considered that the stones have passed naturally.