• Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC) for jaundice of undetermined etiology was performed with the Chiba needle in 30 patients. Successful visualization of the biliary ductal system was accomplished in 26 patients (86.7%); two of six patients (33.3%) with normal biliary systems had ducts visualized, and the ducts were visualized in the 24 patients (100%) with obstruction. Bile leakage of 50 to 500 ml (average, 200 ml) was observed at laparotomy or autopsy in 12 patients (40%), nine (30%) of whom had symptoms of peritonitis. Six (20%) of these were transient and three (10%) progressed to an acute abdomen. Bacteremia occurred in seven patients (23.3%), in three (10%) it progressed to septic shock, with one death (3.3%). There were no complications in patients with nonobstructed ducts. This study suggests that PTC with the Chiba needle has little advantage over the larger sheathed needles, and surgical standby is indicated in suspected cases of obstructive jaundice.
(Arch Surg 112: 954-958, 1977)