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Condition

Choledocholithiasis

Symptoms, Doctors, Treatments, Research & More

Condition 101

What is the definition of Choledocholithiasis?

Choledocholithiasis is the presence of at least one gallstone in the common bile duct. The stone may be made up of bile pigments or calcium and cholesterol salts.

What are the alternative names for Choledocholithiasis?

Gallstone in the bile duct; Bile duct stone

What are the causes for Choledocholithiasis?

About 1 in 7 people with gallstones will develop stones in the common bile duct. This is the small tube that carries bile from the gallbladder to the intestine.

Risk factors include a history of gallstones. However, choledocholithiasis can occur in people who have had their gallbladder removed.

What are the symptoms for Choledocholithiasis?

Often, there are no symptoms unless the stone blocks the common bile duct. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the right upper or middle upper abdomen for at least 30 minutes. The pain may be constant and intense. It can be mild or severe.
  • Fever.
  • Yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice).
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Clay-colored stools.

What are the current treatments for Choledocholithiasis?

The goal of treatment is to relieve the blockage.

Treatment may involve:

  • Surgery to remove the gallbladder and stones
  • ERCP and a procedure called a sphincterotomy, which makes a surgical cut into the muscle in the common bile duct to allow stones to pass or be removed

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Choledocholithiasis?

Blockage and infection caused by stones in the biliary tract can be life threatening. Most of the time, the outcome is good if the problem is detected and treated early.

What are the possible complications for Choledocholithiasis?

Complications may include:

  • Biliary cirrhosis
  • Cholangitis
  • Pancreatitis

When should I contact a medical professional for Choledocholithiasis?

Call your provider if:

  • You develop abdominal pain, with or without fever, and there is no known cause
  • You develop jaundice
  • You have other symptoms of choledocholithiasis
Digestive
Kidney
Choledocholithiasis
Gallbladder
Gallbladder
Bile

REFERENCES

Almeida R, Zenlea T. Choledocholithiasis. In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2019. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:317-318.

Fogel EL, Sherman S. Diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 155.

Jackson PG, Evans SRT. Biliary system. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 54.

Latest Research

Latest Advance
Study
  • Condition: Iatrogenic Bile Duct Injury (BDI)
  • Journal: Cirugia y cirujanos
  • Treatment Used: Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Hepaticojejunostomy Reconstruction
  • Number of Patients: 20
  • Published —
This study evaluated laparoscopic Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy reconstruction after iatrogenic (caused by treatment) bile duct injury (BDI).

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trial
Procedure
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Study Type: Procedure
  • Participants: 700
  • Start Date: January 31, 2020
Does the Gallbladder Status Influence the Occurence of Post-Endoscopic Retrograde Choledochopancreatography(ERCP) -Choledocholithiasis