Percutaneous cholecystostomy and endoscopic cholecystolithotripsy in the management of acute cholecystitis

S. K. H. Wong, S. C. H. Yu, Y. H. Lam, S. S. C. Chung


Background: Percutaneous cholecystostomy is a valuable alternative temporary measure for acute cholecystitis in elderly patients with severe underlying cardiopulmonary disease, but the subsequent management of gallbladder calculi is still controversial.

Methods: Eleven patients treated with percutaneous endoscopic cholecystolithotripsy after percutaneous cholecystostomy were evaluated retrospectively.

Results: All patients showed clinical improvement after percutaneous cholecystostomy. Tract dilation succeeded in 9 patients. Complete stone clearance was achieved in seven patients over one to four sessions (average, two sessions).Stone extraction could not be completed in two patients because gallbladder access was lost in one patient, and the other refused further procedure. There were three complications, with two biliary fistulas and one major bile leakage leading to emergency cholecystectomy. The duration of the entire procedure ranged from 30 to 126 days (mean, 58 days). During the follow-up (mean 17.2 months), one patient had recurrent cholangitis and the others remained asymptomatic.

Conclusions: Percutaneous cholecystolithotripsy after percutaneous cholecystostomy is a safe alternative in the management of high-risk elderly patients with acute cholecystitis.