Study Suggests Common Bile Duct Stones Should Be Removed

MedicalResearch.com 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.

Citation:

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.