EMERGENCY ABDOMINAL ULTRASOUND AS SUFFICIENT DIAGNOSTIC MODALITY IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF BILIARY ILEUS
Introduction: Biliary ileus is a rare emergency condition that mainly affects the elderly population, with a predominance of females and a mortality rate of 12-27%. It is a mechanical intestinal obstruction caused by the impaction of the biliary calculus within the gastrointestinal tract. It occurs due to the formation of bilio-enteric fistula, as a rare complication of cholelithiasis.
Case report: A 73-year-old male patient with epigastric pain, nausea and vomiting was referred for ultrasound exam. The analysis of the clinical-biochemical status of the patient as well as the ultrasound examination of the abdomen itself raised the suspicion of small intestine obstruction, due to the enclaved biliary calculus. After an urgent exploratory laparotomy, the diagnosis was confirmed, and enterotomy was successfully performed with calculus extraction. Cholecysto-duodenal fistula has been confirmed as a major cause of biliary ileus. The post-operative course was uneventful.
Conclusion: This case report highlights the enormous importance of ultrasound diagnostics in diagnosing biliary ileus using the criteria of The Rigler Triad, which includes pneumobilia, intestinal obstruction and ectopic calculus. Initialy unrecognisied cause of obstruction and a late diagnosis correlated with bad prognosis. Ultrasonographic examination of these patients, can be a sufficient diagnostic modality in making an accurate diagnosis and further surgical treatment of these patients.
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