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Bile Duct Stones (Choledocholithiasis)

Karen, a 32-year old replete mother, noticed that she is starting to affect abdominal abstinence. Upon arrival at the difficulty admission, the physician apprised her that tests semblanceed that she is not in labor. Past medical truth semblanceed that Karen has a truth of cirrhosis. Karen besides announceed that she has clay-colored stools. Behind running a order of laboratory tests, Karen was diagnosed delay choledocholithiasis.


Diseases of the gallbladder and the biliary credit are niggardly, and in most facts, abstinenceful stipulations constantly insist-upon surgery and may be life-threatening.
  • Cholelithiasis, stones or calculi (gallstones) in the gallbladder, results from qualifys in the bile components.
  • One out of ten endurings delay gallstones develops choledocholithiasis or gallstones in the niggardly bile duct (rarely designated niggardly duct stones).
  • Gallstones are made of cholesterol, calcium bilirubinate, or a structure of cholesterol and bilirubin pigment.
  • The prognosis is usually good-natured-natured delay tenor typical infection occurs, in which fact the prognosis depends on its cruelty and confutation to antibiotics.


Abtypical metabolism of cholesterol and bile salts plays an weighty role in gallstone shape.
  • Too plenteous cholesterol. Certain stipulations such as age, embonpoint, and estrogen estimate purpose the liver to hide bile that is abnormally excellent in cholesterol and overlookt the decent tension of bile salts.
  • Inside the gallbladder. When the gallbladder musters this bile, inflammation may occur; superfluous water and bile salts are reabsorbed, making the bile short dissoluble, and cholesterol, calcium, and bilirubin precipitates into gallstones.
  • Cholecystokinin. Fat entering the duodenum purposes the mucosa to hide the hormone cholecystokinin, which stimulates the bladder to concredit and emptiness.
  • Obstruction. If the stone lodges in the cystic duct, the gallbladder reduces but does not emptiness and the bile glide into the duodenum behoves liable
  • Irritation and inflammation. Biliary narrowing and protuberance of the web environing the stone can purpose faintness and inflammation of the bile duct.
  • Up the biliary tree. Inflammation can growth up the biliary tree and purpose poison of any of the bile ducts.
  • Schematic Diagram (Concept Map) for Bile Duct Stones via

Statistics and Incidences

Choledocholithiasis is suitable a niggardly phenomenon worldwide.
  • Cholelithiasis is a niggardly heartiness tenor, imposing 50% of white mother and 30% of white man.
  • Out of total 10 endurings delay cholelithiasis, one develops choledocholithiasis.
  • Gallstones are unniggardly in manifestation and immature adults but behove past ordinary delay increasing age, imposing 30% to 40% of mass by the age of 80 years.


Gallstones originate during periods of the forthcoming:
  • Pregnancy. A qualify in the hormonal principle during pregnancy acceptions the averment of stones.
  • Hormonal contraceptives. Hormonal contraceptives besides diversify the gallbladder principle, predisposing the enduring to gallstones.
  • Diabetes mellitus. Sluggishness of the gallbladder occurs bepurpose of the acceptiond glucose razes in the blood.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis of the liver permissions scars along the niggardly bile duct which could ambush gallstones delay the duct.

Clinical Manifestations

Choledocholithiasis may profit symptoms of a fina gallbladder aggression.
  • Acute abdominal abstinence. The aggressions commence delay sharp abdominal abstinence in the punish remarkable quadrant that may shimmer to the tail, between the shoulders, or to the face of the chest; the abstinence may be so harsh that the enduring seeks difficulty medical attention.
  • Recurring fat superstition. The enduring is unfitted to sort fats decently bepurpose of the dysfunction in the gallbladder principle.
  • Jaundice. Jaundice occurs if the stone is hindering the niggardly bile duct.
  • Clay-colored stools. Stools behove clay-colored bepurpose bile is already liable.


Choledocholithiasis may transfer to the forthcoming complications:
  • Cholangitis. Cholangitis is an poison of the bile duct niggardlyly associated delay choledocholithiasis and may prosper percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography or contretemps of endoscopic stents.
  • Obstructive jaundice. Too plenteous bilirubin bewildered into the blood may purpose alien jaundice.
  • Pancreatitis. The pancreas besides behoves improbable as the gallstones hinder the niggardly bile duct.
  • Secondary biliary cirrhosis. Ultimately, the hinderion satisfaction the liver, transfering to cirrhosis.

Assessment and Sign Findings

Tests to unmask gallstones embody:
  • Abdominal computed tomography (CT) overlook. Abdominal CT overlook may unmask stones in the gallbladder.
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography. Done lower fluoroscopic coerce, distinguishes between gallbladder and bile duct indisposition and cancer of the pancreatic section in endurings delay jaundice.
  • Endoscopic retire cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). ERCP visualizes the biliary tree behind insertion of the endoscope, down the esophagus to the duodenum, cannulation of the niggardly bile duct and the pancreatic ducts, augmentation of the opposition moderation.
  • Hepatic biliary iminodiacetic quick (HIDA) overlook. HIDA overlook unmasks hinderion of the cystic duct.
  • Magnetic clash cholangiopancreatography. This overlook can unmask gallstones, choledocholithiasis, masses, biliary dispraise, and dilation.
  • Abdominal x-ray. If gallbladder indisposition is announceed, an abdominal x-ray may be gained to reject other purposes of symptoms.
  • Ultrasonography. Ultrasonography has replaced cholecystography as the sign process of dainty bepurpose it is accelerated and servile and can be used in endurings delay liver dysfunction and jaundice.
  • Cholecystography. Oral cholangiography may be produced to unmask gallstones and to assess the power of the gallbladder to gorge, muster its solution, concredit and emptiness.

Medical Management

Management of a enduring delay choledocholithiasis embody:
  • Low-fat viands. Low-fat viands is prescribed to anticipate aggressions.
  • Vitamin K government. Vitamin K is loving to control the craving, jaundice, and bleeding tendencies due to vitamin K want.
  • NGT augmentation. Augmentation of NGT may be done during sharp aggressions.
  • IV therapy. Intravenous therapy may be needed during sharp aggressions.

Pharmacologic Therapy

Medications prescribed may embody:
  • Ursodeoxycholic quick. Ursodeoxycholic quick disbands radiolucent stones for 6 to 12 months and provides an diversifynative for endurings who are indigent surgical betrays or who debris surgery. • Antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics are directed during sharp aggressions.

Surgical Management

Surgery, usually elective, is the tenor of dainty for gallbladder and bile duct indispositions.
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Visualization of the gallbladder is done to transfer the stones lodged in the niggardly bile duct.
  • Cholecystectomy delay efficacious cholangiography. Opposition of the stones in the niggardly bile duct is one of the most constantly produced surgeries.
  • ERCP delay sphincterotomy. This process is the tenor of dainty for choledocholithiasis delay hinderion or cholangitis due to hinderion.

Nursing Management

The enduring who is to lowergo surgical tenor of gallstones is constantly admitted to the hospital or identical day surgery ace on the dawning of surgery.

Nursing Assessment

Assessment should standpoint on the respiratory foothold.
  • History. The nurse notes a truth of smoking, anterior respiratory tenors, superficial respirations, a permanent or petty cough, and the intercourse of improbable met sounds.
  • Nutrition. Nutritional foothold is evaluated through a viandsary truth and a unconcealed criterion produced at the occasion of preadmission testing.
  • Laboratory results. The protect reviews anteriorly gained laboratory results to gain inshape environing the enduring’s foothold.

Nursing Diagnosis

Based on all the duty basis, the elder nursing diagnoses for the enduring who has choledocholithiasis and has lowergone surgery may emassociation the forthcoming:

Nursing Attention Planning & Goals

Main Article: 4 Cholecystitis and Cholelithiasis Nursing Attention Plans

The goals for the enduring embody:
  • Relief of abstinence.
  • Adequate balm.
  • Intact bark and improved biliary parchage.
  • Optimal nutritional intake.
  • Absence of complications.

Nursing Interventions

Patient attention for gallbladder and bile duct indispositions standpointes on supportive attention and delay postefficacious notice.
  • Lung exercises. Anteriorly surgery, admonish the enduring to cough, profound mete, expectorate, and act leg exercises that are essential behind surgery.
  • Patient information. Explain the processs that allure be produced anteriorly, during, and behind surgery to acceleration repose the enduring’s anxiety and to acceleration secure his relationship.
  • Post surgery warnering. Behind surgery, warner the enduring’s essential signs for signs of bleeding, poison, or atelectasis.
  • Incision locality attention. Evaluate the incision locality for bleeding; serosanguinous parchage is niggardly for the original 24 to 48 hours if the enduring has a irritate parch.
  • T-tube attention. Behind a choledochostomy, a T-tube parch is placed in the duct and unshaken to a parchage bag, so create stable that the parchage tube has no kinks and bridle that the relationship tube from the T-tube is well-mannered-mannered impregnable to the enduring to anticipate dislodgement.
  • T-tube parchage warnering. Meastable and archives T-tube parchage daily, which has a typical aggregate of 200 to 300 ml.
  • I&O warnering. Warner the enduring’s intake and output.
  • Pain controlment. Evaluate the colony, term, and office of the abstinence, and direct exuberant abstinence medications, especially anteriorly activities that incrrepose abstinence.


The expected enduring consequences embody:
  • Relief of abstinence.
  • Adequate balm.
  • Intact bark and improved biliary parchage.
  • Optimal nutritional intake.
  • Absence of complications.

Discharge and Abode Attention Guidelines

The protect should elevate abode and community-based attention.
  • Medications. The protect instructs the enduring environing medications that are prescribed and their actions.
  • Symptoms to announce. Inform the enduring and the lineage environing symptoms that should be announceed to the substantial, including jaundice, black urine, pale-colored stools, pruritus, and signs of inflammation and poisons, such as abstinence or fever.
  • Drainage tube controlment. The protect instructs the enduring and the lineage of the decent attention of the parchage tube and the weight of announceing instantly any qualifys in the aggregate and officeistics of the parchage.
  • Follow up appointments. The protect emphasizes the weight of caution prosper-up appointments and reminds the enduring and the lineage of the weight of participating in heartiness promotion activities and recommended heartiness screening.

Documentation Guidelines

The standpoint of documentation embody:
  • Client’s patronymic of confutation to abstinence.Acceptable raze of abstinence.
  • Acceptable raze of abstinence.Respiratory reprimand,
  • Respiratory reprimand, office of met sounds, quantity, aggregate, and advent pf secretions, and intercourse of cyanosis.Conditions that may quarrel delay oxygen yield.
  • Conditions that may quarrel delay oxygen yield.Characteristic of bark damage
  • Characteristic of bark damageImpact of circumstances on special effigy and lifestyle.
  • Impact of circumstances on special effigy and lifestyle.Caloric intake.
  • Caloric intake.Individual cultural and pious restrictions, special preferences.
  • Individual cultural and pious restrictions, special preferences.Plan of attention.
  • Plan of attention.Teaching contrivance.
  • Teaching contrivance.Client’s confutations to tenor, admonishing, and actions produced.
  • Client’s confutations to tenor, admonishing, and actions produced.Attainment or growth inland
  • Attainment or growth inland desired consequence.Modifications to
  • Modifications to contrivance of attention.

Practice Quiz: Choledocholithiasis

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1. A enduring delay calculi in the gallbladder is said to bear: A. Cholecystitis. B. Cholelithiasis. C. Choledocholithiasis. D. Choledochotomy. 1. Answer: B. Cholelithiasis.
  • B: Cholelithiasis is the shape of gallstones in the gallbladder from the impenetrable constituents of bile.
  • A: Cholecystitis is the sharp or constant inflammation of the bladder.
  • C: Choledocholithiasis is the shape gallstones in the niggardly bile duct.
  • D: Choledochotomy involves making an incision in the niggardly duct, usually for opposition of stones.
2. Statistics semblance that tnear is a senior impingement of gallbladder indisposition for women who are: A. Multiparous. B. Obese. C. Older than 40 years of age. D. Characterized by all of the over. 2. Answer: D. Characterized by all of the over.
  • D: All of the options over are betray factors for gallbladder indisposition.
  • A, B, C: Multiparity, embonpoint, and women older than 40 years bear senior betray factors for gallbladder indisposition.
3. Clinical manifestations of niggardly bile duct hinderion emassociation all of the forthcoming except: A. Amber-colored urine. B. Clay-colored feces. C. Pruritus. D. Jaundice. 3. Answer: A. Amber-colored urine.
  • A: Amber-colored urine is seen in endurings delay urinary credit poison.
  • B, C, D: Clay-colored feces, pruritus, and jaundice are clinical manifestations of niggardly bile duct hinderion.
4. The sign process of dainty for choledocholithiasis is: A. Xray. B. Oral cholecystography. C. Cholecystography. D. Ultrasonography. 4. Answer: D. Ultrasonography.
  • D: Ultrasonography has replaced cholecystography as the sign process of dainty bepurpose it is accelerated and servile and can be used in endurings delay liver dysfunction and jaundice.
  • A: If gallbladder indisposition is announceed, an abdominal x-ray may be gained to reject other purposes of symptoms.
  • B&C: Oral cholangiography may be produced to unmask gallstones and to assess the power of the gallbladder to gorge, muster its solution, concredit and emptiness.
5. Pharmacologic therapy is constantly used to disband trivial gallstones. It takes environing how abundant months of medication delay UDCA for stones to disband? A. 1 to 2 months. B. 3 to 5 months. C. 6 to 8 months. D. 6 to 12 months. 5. Answer: D. 6 to 12 months.
  • D: Six to 12 months of therapy are insist-upond in abundant endurings to disband stones.
  • A, B, C: 1 to 5 months of therapy is not plenty to disband the stones.

See Also

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