Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangioscopy

Sameer Ahmed, Todd R. Schlachter, Kelvin Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of the interventional radiologist continues to expand in the treatment of biliary disease. Percutaneous transhepatic cholangioscopy (PTCS) provides direct visualization of the biliary system for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, especially in cases where anatomical considerations prohibit a peroral approach. Visual inspection and endoscopically guided biopsy allow differentiation between benign and malignant lesions, as well as accurate assessment of the tumor extent for surgical planning. Studies have demonstrated greater than 95% accuracy with PTCS in diagnosing biliary malignancies. Cholangioscopy is also used to treat obstructive stones in the biliary system, which may require laser lithotripsy. PTCS-guided removal of biliary stones is highly successful, with complete stone removal from the bile ducts occurring in approximately 90% of cases. Overall, PTCS is a safe and effective procedure, with severe complications occurring in less than 8% of patients. The purpose of this review is to familiarize its reader with common indications for PTCS, techniques for procedural success, expected outcomes, and management of potential complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalTechniques in Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Biliary intervention
  • Cholangioscopy
  • ERCP
  • Transhepatic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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