Double-duct sign: do not forget the gallstones.

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Double-duct sign: do not forget the gallstones.

J Gastrointestin Liver Dis. 2013 Dec;22(4):447-50

Authors: Oterdoom LH, van Weyenberg SJ, de Boer NK

A double-duct sign is the combined dilatation of the common bile duct and pancreatic duct, often caused by cancer of the pancreas. We present a patient with colicky pain in the right upper quadrant of her abdomen. On radiological imaging and endosonography, she had a double-duct sign due to choledocholithiasis and no mass in the pancreatic head. A literature search was performed, which indicated that in selected patients with a higher likelihood of pancreas cancer (for example jaundice or pancreatic mass on radiological imaging) up to 85% of patients do indeed have a pancreatic cancer. In an unselected population, regardless of presenting symptoms, a double-duct sign on endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) was caused by a pancreas malignancy in 58% of patients. In selected patients without jaundice but with a double duct sign, pancreas cancer was only seen in 6% of patients. The sensitivity and specificity of the double-duct sign observed by ERCP for pancreatic cancer varies between 50-76% and 63-80%, respectively. Our patient with symptomatic choledocholithiasis underwent an uncomplicated ERCP with stone extraction and papillotomy and was referred for a cholecystectomy.

PMID: 24369328 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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