Percutaneous transhepatic removal of bile duct stones: results of 261 patients

Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2012 Aug;35(4):890-7. doi: 10.1007/s00270-011-0197-8. Epub 2011 Jun 3.


Purpose: To determine the effectiveness of percutaneous transhepatic removal of bile duct stones when the procedure of endoscopic therapy fails for reasons of anatomical anomalies or is rejected by the patient.

Methods: Between April 2001 and May 2010, 261 patients (138 male patients and 123 female patients; age range, 14-92 years; mean age, 64.6 years) with bile duct stones (common bile duct [CBD] stones = 248 patients and hepatolithiasis = 13 patients) were included in the study. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography was performed, and stones were identified. Percutaneous transhepatic balloon dilation of the papilla of Vater was performed. Then stones were pushed out into the duodenum with a Fogarty balloon catheter. If the stone diameter was larger than 15 mm, then basket lithotripsy was performed before balloon dilation.

Results: Overall success rate was 95.7%. The procedure was successful in 97.5% of patients with CBD stones and in 61.5% of patients with hepatolithiasis. A total of 18 major complications (6.8%), including cholangitis (n = 7), subcapsular biloma (n = 4), subcapsular hematoma (n = 1), subcapsular abscess (n = 1), bile peritonitis (n = 1), duodenal perforation (n = 1), CBD perforation (n = 1), gastroduodenal artery pseudoaneurysm (n = 1), and right hepatic artery transection (n = 1), were observed after the procedure. There was no mortality.

Conclusion: Our experience suggests that percutaneous transhepatic stone expulsion into the duodenum through the papilla is an effective and safe approach in the nonoperative management of the bile duct stones. It is a feasible alternative to surgery when endoscopic extraction fails or is rejected by the patient.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Catheterization
  • Cholangiography / methods
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic
  • Choledocholithiasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Choledocholithiasis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lithotripsy / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome