The insensitivity of sonography in the detection of choledocholithiasis

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1984 Apr;142(4):725-8. doi: 10.2214/ajr.142.4.725.


To determine the sensitivity of sonography in the detection of choledocholithiasis, the sonograms of 138 patients with surgically proven common bile duct stones were reviewed. A definite diagnosis of choledocholithiasis could be made on the basis of the sonograms in 22% of cases. Overall, 23% had common ducts of normal caliber (less than or equal to 7 mm diam) and 23% had normal total bilirubin levels at the time of the examination. Although a sonographic diagnosis of choledocholithiasis provides important information for the surgeon, the method is not sufficiently sensitive to serve as a definitive preoperative test for common bile duct stones.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Female
  • Gallstones / diagnosis*
  • Gallstones / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography*