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Revista colombiana de Gastroenterología

versión impresa ISSN 0120-9957


GARZON, Martín et al. Can Endoscopic Papillary Large Balloon Dilation (EPLBD) Decrease the Need for Mechanical Lithotripsy in Patients with Giant Biliary Stones?. Rev Col Gastroenterol [online]. 2017, vol.32, n.3, pp.202-208. ISSN 0120-9957.


About 10% to 15% of patients with choledocholithiasis develop a giant calculus, defined as one that measures more than 10 mm to 15 mm. Removal of these stones can be problematic even for experienced endoscopists. Almost all patients with this pathology can be treated endoscopically: most are removed with sphincterotomies, mechanical lithotripsy (ML) or large balloon papillary dilatation (LBPD). LBPD has been shown to be effective in handling giant calculi and decreases the need for ML.


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of giant choledocholithiasis at HUS between 2009 and 2014, the frequency of successful endoscopic treatment, and the frequency of surgery in these cases. We also evaluated factors associated with the use of lithotripsy to remove giant biliary calculi.

Materials and Methods:

This study is a case-control study of patients who had giant calculi and underwent ERCP at the HUS between 2009 and 2014. Calculi larger than 10 mm were defined as giant. Cases were patients who underwent lithotripsy while controls were those who did not require lithotripsy. The results for continuous variables are presented as means or medians and their respective measures of dispersion while results for categorical variables are presented according to tests of normality or as frequencies and percentages. A logistic regression analysis was used to determine factors associated with lithotripsy. Biologically plausible variables and those that had statistically significant differences in the bivariate analysis (p <0.200) were included. The results are presented as adjusted odds ratios (ORA).


Between 2009 and 2014, a total of 1403 ERCPs were performed. Giant calculi were found in 198 (14.1%) of these procedures. Giant choledocholithiasis was more common in female patients than in male patients. The patients’ mean age was 66.6 years. The average diameter of the common bile duct was 18 mm, and the average diameter of the stones was 18 mm. Ninety-nine percent of these patients underwent sphincterotomies, 28% required ML, 48% underwent LBPD, 5.5% required ML and LBPD, and 30.8% required biliary stents and more than one ERCP for the resolution of choledocholithiasis. In 89.9% of cases, endoscopic management was successful. Only 10.1% of the total number of patients required surgery. Complications occurred in 9.0% of the cases: 6 cases of pancreatitis, 7 cases of bleeding, 2 impacted cannula and 1 perforation. In the bivariate analysis, LBPD was a protective factor against the need for ML (ORA 0.07-IC 95% 0.025-0.194) and choledochal size was a predictor a need for MM (p <0.05).


In our series the prevalence of giant choledocholithiasis and the success of endoscopic management are similar to those reported in the literature. Sphincterotomies, ML and LBPD were effective for managing giant calculi. Choledochal size is a predictor of a need for ML while performance of LBPD decreased the need for ML.

Palabras clave : Choledocholithiasis; giant calculi; mechanical lithotripsy; large balloon papillary dilation.

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