Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The aim of our study was to emphasize the importance of routine bedside biliary ultrasonography (USG) for the differential diagnosis of biliary tract disorders in patients admitted with acute isolated epigastric pain. Materials and methods: Adult patients who were admitted to the emergency department with acute isolated epigastric pain were included in the study. Emergency residents (ERs) were asked whether they planned to perform biliary USG during the initial evaluation and following diagnosis/treatment (secondary evaluation) of these patients. Bedside biliary USG examinations were performed by a sonologist and a radiologist evaluated the video recordings. Results: A total of 103 patients were enrolled, 29 of whom were diagnosed with biliary tract disease (BTD). In the 29 patients diagnosed with BTD, 27 had gallstones (biliary colic, 18; acute cholecystitis, 7; acute pancreatitis, 2) and two had biliary sludge. USG was not ordered by the ERs for 44.8% of the 29 patients with a final diagnosis of BTD, 58.8% of 17 patients with normal liver function tests and BTD, and 35.3% of the 17 hospitalized patients. Conclusion: Emergency physicians should routinely use biliary USG along with clinical judgement and laboratory studies in order to rule out BTD in patients with acute isolated epigastric pain.


Biliary ultrasound, epigastric pain, cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, bedside ultrasound

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