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Successful Endoscopic Therapy of Traumatic Bile Leaks

Case Reports in Gastroenterology
S. Karger AG
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1159/000346570
  • Published Online: February
  • 2013
  • Medicine


Traumatic bile leaks often result in high morbidity and prolonged hospital stay that requires multimodality management. Data on endoscopic management of traumatic bile leaks are scarce. Our study objective was to evaluate the efficacy of the endoscopic management of a traumatic bile leak. We performed a retrospective case review of patients who were referred for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) after traumatic bile duct injury secondary to blunt (motor vehicle accident) or penetrating (gunshot) trauma for management of bile leaks at our tertiary academic referral center. Fourteen patients underwent ERCP for the management of a traumatic bile leak over a 5-year period. The etiology included blunt trauma from motor vehicle accident in 8 patients, motorcycle accident in 3 patients and penetrating injury from a gunshot wound in 3 patients. Liver injuries were grade III in 1 patient, grade IV in 10 patients, and grade V in 3 patients. All patients were treated by biliary stent placement, and the outcome was successful in 14 of 14 cases (100%). The mean duration of follow-up was 85.6 days (range 54–175 days). There were no ERCP-related complications. In our case review, endoscopic management with endobiliary stent placement was found to be successful and resulted in resolution of the bile leak in all 14 patients. Based on our study results, ERCP should be considered as first-line therapy in the management of traumatic bile leaks.

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