Patients who receive long-term parenteral nutrition have an increased incidence of both calculous and acalculous cholecystitis. In an attempt to establish guidelines for the clinical management of patients with TPN-induced gallbladder disease, we have reviewed the records of 35 patients who have undergone cholecystectomy for this problem since 1976 at the UCLA Medical Center. The mean age of the 23 adult and 12 children who had cholecystectomy was 29.1 years. Forty percent of these patients required emergency cholecystectomy. The overall operative morbidity was 54 percent, and the hospital mortality was 11 percent. Significant factors contributing to this high rate of complications included a delay in diagnosis, especially in the young children, and increased operative difficulty due to extensive adhesions and intraoperative hemorrhage. Our analysis suggests that patients receiving long-term TPN should have a program of ultrasound surveillance for gallstone formation, elective cholecystectomy when stones first appear, and consideration of cholecystectomy at the time of laparotomy performed for other reasons. Whether TPN-induced gallstones can be prevented through daily stimulated gallbladder emptying awaits the results of future studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas