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Management of common bile duct obstruction associated with spontaneous perforation of the biliary tree

Management of common bile duct obstruction associated with spontaneous perforation of the biliary tree

Surgery 111(2): 237-239

Spontaneous perforation of the extrahepatic biliary tree during infancy is an uncommon event. The cause of bile duct perforation is unclear, but one-quarter of reported cases have been associated with a stone or bile sludge obstructing the distal common bile duct. A 4-week-old girl had jaundice, and a DISIDA (99m technetium diisopropyl iminodiacetic acid) scan revealed perforation of the biliary tree. Exploratory surgery showed distal common bile duct obstruction with proximal perforation. No attempt was made to remove the obstructing lesion because of duct inflammation. Common bile duct obstruction persisted until week 5 after surgery when cholangiography revealed free flow of contrast into the duodenum through a common bile duct of normal caliber without a filling defect. In the presence of acute inflammation associated with perforation of the biliary tree, exploration of the common bile duct to relieve a distal obstruction could prove hazardous. Our case and a review of the literature suggest that the obstructing stone or sludge may pass spontaneously if managed expectantly.

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Accession: 032240130

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PMID: 1736396

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