Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for cholelithiasis 2016

J Gastroenterol. 2017 Mar;52(3):276-300. doi: 10.1007/s00535-016-1289-7. Epub 2016 Dec 10.


Cholelithiasis is one of the commonest diseases in gastroenterology. Remarkable improvements in therapeutic modalities for cholelithiasis and its complications are evident. The Japanese Society of Gastroenterology has revised the evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for cholelithiasis. Forty-three clinical questions, for four categories-epidemiology and pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatments, and prognosis and complications-were selected, and a literature search was performed for the clinical questions with use of the MEDLINE, Cochrane, and Igaku Chuo Zasshi databases for the period between 1983 and June 2012. The guidelines were developed with use of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system. This article preferentially describes the clinical management of cholelithiasis and its complications. Following description of the diagnosis performed stepwise through imaging modalities, treatments of cholecystolithiasis, choledocholithiasis, and hepatolithiasis are introduced along with a flowchart. Since there have been remarkable improvements in endoscopic treatments and surgical techniques, the guidelines ensure flexibility in choices according to the actual clinical environment. The revised clinical practice guidelines are appropriate for use by clinicians in their daily practice.

Keywords: Bile acid dissolution therapy; Cholelithiasis; Endoscopic sphincterotomy; Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy; Laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic / adverse effects
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic / methods
  • Choledocholithiasis / surgery
  • Cholelithiasis / diagnosis
  • Cholelithiasis / therapy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Humans
  • Lithotripsy / methods
  • Mirizzi Syndrome / surgery
  • Sphincterotomy, Endoscopic / methods
  • Stents
  • Ursodeoxycholic Acid / therapeutic use


  • Ursodeoxycholic Acid