• Acute cholangitis due to intrahepatic stones is frequently associated with biliary sepsis. Emergency surgery for these high-risk patients is usually associated with a high mortality. Therefore, we recommend nonoperative methods for the management of this acute disease. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography and drainage (PTCD) combined with antibiotic and fluid treatment was used successfully in the management of 41 patients with acute pyogenic cholangitis due to intrahepatic stones. The general condition of these patients improved after treatment with PTCD. Repeated cholangiography should be performed so that the entire biliary tree and lesions can be viewed. Elective surgery (21 patients) or removal of the stone through the sinus tract via PTCD (14 patients) was performed when the patients' general condition improved following emergency PTCD. Therefore, we recommend PTCD over emergency surgery in the treatment of acute septic intrahepatic stones.
(Arch Surg 1988;123:106-109)