Indications for selective intraoperative cholangiography

Edward H. Livingston, Jordan A G Miller, Brian Coan, Robert V Rege

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The indications for selective intraoperative cholangiography (IOC) include a clinical history of jaundice, pancreatitis, elevated bilirubin level, abnormal liver function test results, increased amylase levels, a high lipase level, or dilated common bile duct on preoperative ultrasonography. Although these clinical features are widely accepted as indications for IOC, they have not been tested for their ability to predict choledocholithiasis. Charts were reviewed for a 6-month time period in 2003 at Parkland Memorial Hospital for all patients undergoing cholecystectomy. Univariate analysis and logistic regression were used to determine which factors predicted choledocholithiasis. Of the 572 patients undergoing cholecystectomies during the study period, 189 underwent IOC and common bile duct stones were found in 57. Only preoperative hyperbilirubinemia or ultrasonograph identification of common bile duct dilation reliably predicted choledocholithiasis. There were 13 cases of choledocholithiasis that would not have been identified by preoperative hyperbilirubinemia or an enlarged common bile duct. However, common bile duct stones were clinically significant in only 2 of the 13 cases. One of these was treated with postoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, and the other was treated with laparoscopic common bile duct exploration. Preoperative identification of a dilated common bile duct or elevated bilirubin levels can be the sole criteria for performing IOC on a selective basis in patients without malignancy. Reliance on a history of remote jaundice, pancreatitis, elevated liver function test values, or pancreatic enzymes results in unnecessary IOCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1371-1377
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Choledocholithiasis
  • Intraoperative cholangiography
  • Medical decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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