Intrahepatic stones: The transhepatic team approach

Henry A. Pitt, Anthony C. Venbrux, Jo Ann Coleman, Carol A. Prescott, Matthew S. Johnson, Floyd A. Osterman, John L. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Objective. The authors reviewed the combined interventional radiologic and surgical management of 54 patients with intrahepatic stones at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The team approach used large-bore transhepatic stents to access the intrahepatic ducts until they were stone free. Summary Background Data. Intrahepatic stones are uncommon in western countries. As a result, few American institutions have had much experience, and multiple management algorithms have been suggested. Nonoperative, operative, and combination surgical and nonoperative approaches have been advocated. At Johns Hopkins, combined surgical and percutaneous management has been used for 18 years. Methods. This team approach includes (1) percutaneous placement of transhepatic access catheters, (2) surgery for underlying biliary disease and stone removal, and, when necessary (3) postoperative percutaneous choledochoscopy and stone removal through the transhepatic stents. Results. The median age of the 54 patients was 50 years, and 32 were men. Biliary disease included 27 benign strictures, 7 sclerosing cholangitis, 5 choledochal cysts, 5 parasitic infections, 5 choledocholithiasis, and 5 biliary tumors. Fourteen patients (26%) were treated exclusively with percutaneous techniques. Forty patients (74%) had surgery, including 36 Roux- en-Y hepatico- or choledochojejunostomies with large-bore transhepatic stents. Eighteen of these 40 patients (45%) with multiple intrahepatic stones, strictures, or both required additional procedures after operation. No hospital deaths occurred after any of the percutaneous or surgical procedures. With a mean follow-up of 60 months, 94% of patients were stone free, 87% of patients were symptom free, and 73% have had their transhepatic stents removed. Conclusions. A combined radiologic and surgical approach with transhepatic stents is a safe and effective method for managing intrahepatic stones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-537
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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