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Choledochocele: an unusual form of choledochal cyst

Pediatric Surgery International
Publication Date
  • Medicine


Choledochocele, or type III choledochal cyst, is a rare anomaly. Two children with choledochocele, both younger than any previously reported patient, were recently cared for at the University of Michigan Medical Center and prompted a literature review of this subject. Since 1974, 40 cases of choledochocele have been reported with enough clinical information for critical review. Ten of these patients were 21 years of age or younger. Presenting symptoms were not specific for choledochocele; they were generally interpreted to result from other biliary or gastrointestinal disorders that are more common for each age group. In pediatric patients the most frequent signs and symptoms of choledochocele were abdominal pain (70%), nausea and/or vomiting (60%), jaundice (30%), and acute pancreatitis (30%). While two-thirds of adult patients with choledochocele had undergone prior cholecystectomy (with stones rarely found), this was observed only once in children. Obstructive symptoms led to evaluation of the stomach and duodenum with either barium upper GI series or endoscopy in all children. These demonstrated an extrinsic mass effect in 90% of the patients. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography identified a choledochocele in all cases in which the study was successfully executed. Intravenous cholangiography was sensitive in children, but less so in the adult patients reviewed. Other imaging efforts (computerized tomography, ultrasound, radionuclide scanning) were less dependable. Transduodenal marsupialization is the treatment of choice for patients of all ages and was provided in both of these newly reported children.

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