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Retroperitoneal Rupture of the Common Bile Duct

Arch Surg. 1965;90(2):188-191. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320080012003.
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ONE HUNDRED years ago Fizeau1 first reported traumatic rupture of the common bile duct followed by jaundice. Subsequently this clinicopathologic entity was recognized as a syndrome characterized by an initial onset of shock of short duration followed by a symptom-free interval and gradual appearance of abdominal pain, vomiting, and jaundice. Although this syndrome is fairly characteristic and can occur after abdominal trauma in this mechanized age, it is rarely considered. Most of the reported cases were not clinically recognized and the patients succumbed to the bile peritonitis.

This report concerns a fatal case of ruptured common bile duct, revealing at necropsy severe retroperitoneal bile seepage extending into the scrotum without evidence of bile peritonitis.

Case Report  A 49-year-old white male alcoholic was admitted for the first time to the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center on Feb 6, 1963, with complaints of swollen scrotum, anorexia, weight loss, and darkening of the


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