question and answer
Pneumobilia says more about patient’s past than future
October 2009
What are the causes of pneumobilia found on CT scan in a patient complaining of bloating? The patient had cholecystectomy 1 year ago, and no more recent surgical procedures. KIRBY SIMPSON, MD, Vancouver, BC

Pneumobilia in a “chronic” setting suggests previous biliary intervention (e.g. endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography plus sphincterotomy). Usually it has no clinical significance. Your patient may have had an ERCP (for common bile duct stones) prior to the cholecystectomy.

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