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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 4 (1990), Issue 9, Pages 621-623
Stone Disease of the Biliary Tract and Pancreas

Gallbladder Stones: Oral Dissolution Therapy

Johnson L Thistle

Mayo Medical Center, Rochester, Minnesota, Canada

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chenodiol is noninvasive, safe and moderately expensive. Because of diarrhea, the need for aminotransferase monitoring, the long duration of therapy required, and the minority of patients who are appropriate candidates, it has had limited use. Ursodiol is generally preferred because it has minimal side effects. Patients with increased surgical risk, mild to moderate symptoms, and gallstones which are either floatable with oral radiopaque contrast media or radiolucent by computed tomography scan in a nonobstructed gallbladder arc appropriate candidates for oral bile acid therapy. Silent stones should not be treated under most circumstances.