Comparison of the dynamics of bile emptying by quantitative hepatobiliary scintigraphy before and after cholecystectomy in patients with uncomplicated gallstone disease.

PURPOSE: Quantitative hepatobiliary scintigraphy, a noninvasive method frequently used to diagnose several biliary tract disorders, shows abnormalities in bile secretion and outflow. It is well known that there are wide variations in the normal pattern of bile emptying, but the effect of cholecystectomy on the bile flow has not yet been investigated. The goal of the current study was to examine the dynamics and normal variations of bile flow by quantitative hepatobiliary scintigraphy before and after cholecystectomy in a group of patients with uncomplicated gallstone disease. METHODS: Twenty patients were evaluated before and after cholecystectomy through cholecystokinin octapeptide-augmented quantitative hepatobiliary scintigraphy, and quantitative parameters of bile emptying (Tmax: time to peak activity, T1/2: half-emptying time before and after cholecystokinin octapeptide and duodenum appearance time) were determined and then compared. RESULTS: Before operation, the bile outflow displayed wide variations, with a moderately delayed common bile duct emptying time in some patients. After cholecystectomy, the T1/2 of the common bile duct decreased significantly when compared with the preoperative status, with only minor patient-to-patient variation, indicating uniformly faster bile emptying (common bile duct T1/2 before and after operation: 30.5 +/- 14.8 and 18.8 +/- 2.6 min, respectively). Cholecystokinin octapeptide administration caused rapid bile outflow from the common bile duct, with a significant decrease in the T1/2 parameters before and after cholecystectomy. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with their gallbladders in situ, the bile emptying rate showed wide variations and may be moderately slow without distal common bile duct obstruction. After cholecystectomy, the rate of bile emptying accelerated and showed only minor variations, thereby increasing the sensitivity of quantitative hepatobiliary scintigraphy for showing partial biliary obstruction.


Authors :Madácsy L, Toftdahl DB, Middelfart HV, Hojgaard L, Funch-Jensen P.

Journal : Clin Nucl Med. 1999 Sep;24(9):649-54.

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