Study Suggests Common Bile Duct Stones Should Be Removed Interview with:
Mats Möller MD
Department of Surgery, Ersta Hospital
Department of Clinical Sciences
Karolinska Institutet
Danderyds Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Möller: The natural course of common bile duct stones seem not as favorable as previous studies have suggested. Leaving stones with no measures taken has in our study a less favorable outcome compared to removing the stones.

Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Möller: Since previous studies have shown a more favorable natural course, our findings as above were somewhat unexpected. There was also a surprisingly high rate of stones left with no measures taken (one third of the smallest stones ).

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report ?

Dr. Möller: When you find common bile duct stones, remove them.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Möller: There is a strong need for a randomized clinical trial on this subject. As a matter of fact we have an ongoing multicenter trial right now but no data yet.


Möller M, Gustafsson U, Rasmussen F, Persson G, Thorell A. Natural Course vs Interventions to Clear Common Bile Duct Stones: Data From the Swedish Registry for Gallstone Surgery and Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (GallRiks). JAMA Surg. Published online August 13, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.249.