Biliary-enteric fistulas: report of five cases and review of the literature

Inal M., Oguz M., Aksungur E., Soyupak S., Boruban S., Akgul E.

EUROPEAN RADIOLOGY, vol.9, no.6, pp.1145-1151, 1999 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s003300050810
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1145-1151
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: No


Internal biliary fistulas (IBF) are seen rarely. Because the symptoms and signs of IBF are not specific and the diagnosis is not suspected, these patients are commonly investigated with plain abdominal films (PAF), ultrasonography (US): upper gastrointestinal series (UGIS), barium enema (BE), and computed tomography (CT), but not always with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). The purposes of this article are (a) to attract attention of radiologists to presumptive findings of IBF, so as not to misdiagnose this unsuspected and rare disease, and (b) review of the literature while presenting radiologic features of our cases. Five cases of IBFs in which extrahepatic biliary tree communicating with duodenum (four cases) and colon (one case) are reported. Diagnostic work-up of cases were done by PAF, US, UGIS, BE, and CT. Aerobilia, which cannot be explained using other means, ectopic gallstone and small bowel dilatation, nonvisualization of the gallbladder despite no history of cholecystectomy, and thick-walled shrunken gallbladder adherent to neighboring organs were suggestive findings of IBF in our study. Knowledge of imaging findings suggestive of IBF and a high index of suspicion increase the diagnostic rate of IBFs.