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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Gallbladder and bile duct stones: percutaneous therapy with primary MTBE dissolution and mechanical methods.

The authors describe percutaneous treatment of gallbladder or bile duct stones in 18 patients who were poor surgical candidates or in whom conventional therapy failed. Dissolution was performed in most cases with methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) because of its potent dissolution properties; other solvents used included monooctanoin or chelating solutions. Gallbladder stones were eliminated in 11 of 13 patients (six of seven with dissolution alone, four of four with dissolution and basket extraction, one with basket removal alone). In five patients with stones in the common bile duct (n = 3), cystic duct remnant (n = 1), and intrahepatic bile ducts (n = 1), stones were eliminated with dissolution alone in two and with dissolution plus basket extraction in one. In two patients percutaneous therapy failed due to complications (vagal hypotension with bile peritonitis and transient respiratory arrest) that occurred during catheter placement. Preliminary results suggest that MTBE is effective for dissolution of many gallbladder stones and some bile duct stones. Noncholesterol solvents and adjuvant mechanical maneuvers are valuable adjuncts to achieve complete stone elimination.[1]


  1. Gallbladder and bile duct stones: percutaneous therapy with primary MTBE dissolution and mechanical methods. vanSonnenberg, E., Casola, G., Zakko, S.F., Varney, R.R., Cox, J., Wittich, G.R., Hofmann, A.F. Radiology. (1988) [Pubmed]
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