Choledocholithiasis Including Acute Cholangitis

  • Srinivas GaddamEmail author
  • Simon Lo


The liver produces bile which then flows into the small intestine through drainage channels called bile ducts. The gallbladder acts as a temporary storage sac for bile which is released into the small intestine after a meal. Stones can precipitate from bile fluid within the gallbladder and they are known as gallbladder stones or simply gallstones. Gallstones generally do not cause any symptoms, as they usually stay within the gallbladder without causing irritation. They may rarely cause gallbladder inflammation or chronic cholecystitis, block the gallbladder outlet to cause acute cholecystitis, or migrate into the common bile duct. The presence of gallstones in the bile duct is called choledocholithiasis. These stones can cause symptoms like episodic pain in the right upper abdomen with abnormal liver function tests. Unfortunately, there is no effective way to prevent migration of stones or dissolve stones once they have migrated into the common bile duct. When choledocholithiasis occurs, patients are at risk for serious abdominal pain or other complications. Therefore, these common bile duct stones must be removed to prevent complications from occurring.


Choledocholithiasis Acute cholangitis Endoscopic ultrasound Acute pancreatitis 



Computed tomography


Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography


Endoscopic ultrasound


Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography



of interest: No conflicts of interest relevant to this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Digestive Diseases Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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