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Riemann J. F. M.D.; Adamek, H. E. M.D.; Weber, J. M.D.
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: August 1991
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Between January and May 1989, 65 patients with symptomatic gallbladder stones were treated with extracorporeal piezoelectric lithotripsy (EPL) and supplementary dissolution therapy with oral bile acids. In 98% of the patients, fragmentation of stones was achieved. On average, each patient received 3.18 treatments. In addition to attacks of colic and asymptomatic changes in laboratory parameters, one hematoma of the gallbladder and one of the liver were observed, together with pancreatitis and cholecystitis in two patients each. During the follow-up period, three patients developed symptomatic bile duct stones. An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with papillotomy was performed on four occasions, while one female patient had to undergo urgent cholecystectomy for inflammation of the gallbladder and empyema. Six months after the initial treatment, 36 (55%) patients were free of stones, while the stone-free rate after 12 months was 64.5% (41 of 65). Ninety percent of the patients with a solitary stone ≤2 cm in diameter became stonefree within a year. Extracorporeal piezoelectric lithotripsy is clearly a feasible procedure for the treatment of certain gallstone patients.

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