Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy for an Abnormal Hepato-Iminodiacetic Acid Scan: A Worthwhile

Skipper, Kent; Sligh, Scott
January 2000
American Surgeon;Jan2000, Vol. 66 Issue 1, p30
Academic Journal
Patients with symptoms similar to symptomatic cholelithiasis but with no sonographic evidence of gallstones can be difficult to manage. Cholecystokinin (CCK)-stimulated hepatobiliary scans can be helpful in determining whether the biliary tract is the potential source of the symptoms. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 69 patients at our institution who underwent CCK-stimulated hepatobiliary scans over a 2-year period. Twenty-nine of 69 patients had an abnormal gallbladder ejection fraction (defined as 35% or less). All 29 patients had no sonographic evidence of cholelithiasis. Seventeen of the 29 underwent cholecystectomy. There were no complications or deaths within the operative group. Fifteen of the pathologic specimens had evidence of chronic cholecystitis, one was cytomegalovirus cholecystitis, and one showed only cholesterolosis. There was no other intraperitoneal pathology to explain the abdominal symptoms. At an average follow-up of 11 months, eight patients (47%) in the operative group had complete resolution of their symptoms, six (35%) had significant improvement, two (12%) were unchanged, and one (6%) was worse. Twelve of 29 patients did not have a cholecystectomy. At an average follow-up of 11 months, four (33%) of these patients had improvement and eight (66%) reported no change or worsening of their symptoms. In the operative group, 53 per cent had reproduction of their symptoms with CCK stimulation, and in the nonoperative group, 33 per cent reported symptoms. Average gallbladder ejection fraction was 10 per cent (range, 0-32) in the operative group and 23 per cent (range, 0-35) in the nonoperative group. Liver function tests were similar in each group. CCK-stimulated hepatobiliary scans were helpful in defining biliary tract disease in patients without gallstones. These patients may benefit from cholecystectomy with minimal risk of morbidity and mortality.


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