Choledocholithiasis is the presence of gall stones in the common bile duct, which is a potentially serious problem that can lead to obstructive jaundice (increased bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase and GTP; normal aspartate transaminase (AST), amino alanine transferase (ALT)), an increased risk of cholangitis, and an increased risk of pancreatitis.
Possible sequelae include:
- The stone passes into the duodenum without effect
- Bile duct obstruction, usually partial and intermittent, caused by ball-valve action of the stone at the lower end of common bile duct
- Bile duct stricture due to fibrosis
- infection (cholangitis) by ascending intestinal bacteria
- Acute or chronic pancreatitis due to a stone wedged in or passing through the ampulla of Vater
- Prolonged obstruction leading to secondary biliary cirrhosis