Gallstones and bile duct stones are hardened deposits of bile pigments, calcium, and cholesterol salts that form in the common bile duct, which is a small tube like structure that carries bile from the gallbladder to the intestine, and in the gallbladder.
These stones cause biliary colic, a very specific type of pain that occurs when the bile duct is partially obstructed. Duct dilation, jaundice (yellow discoloration of skin and eyes) and eventually cholangitis can occur. Cholangitis is a bacterial infection of the common bile duct that occurs when there is complete obstruction of the duct.
Abdominal US, abdominal CT, and MRCP are used to diagnose bile duct stones.
Symptoms of gallstones and bile duct stones can include:
It’s not clear what causes them, but doctors think they can result when:
Gallstones and bile duct stones can be diagnosed using:
Treatment options include: