Rates of Bile Acid Diarrhoea After Cholecystectomy: A Multicentre Audit

Alexia Farrugia, Joseph Anthony Attard, Stuart Hanmer, Stuart Bullock, Siobhan McKay, Marwa Al-Azzawi, Roshneen Ali, Giles Bond-Smith, Ben Colleypriest, Sarah Dyer, Benjamin Masterman, Michael Okocha, Alan Osborne, Rikhilroy Patel, Mahmoud Sallam, Emmanuel Selveraj, Samar Shalaby, Wenrui Sun, Fraser Todd, Joel WardRebecca Windle, Saboor Khan, Nigel Williams, Ramesh P. Arasaradnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction: Bile acid diarrhoea (BAD) can occur due to disruption to the enterohepatic circulation, e.g. following cholecystectomy. Post-cholecystectomy diarrhoea has been reported in 2.1–57.2% of patients; however, this is not necessarily due to BAD. The aim of this study was to determine the rates of bile acid diarrhoea diagnosis after cholecystectomy and to consider investigation practices. Methods: A retrospective analysis of electronic databases from five large centres detailing patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy between 2013 and 2017 was cross-referenced with a list of patients who underwent 75SeHCAT testing. A 7-day retention time of <15% was deemed to be positive. Patient demographics and time from surgery to investigation were collected and compared for significance (p < 0.05). Results: A total of 9439 patients underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2017 in the five centres. In total, 202 patients (2.1%) underwent investigation for diarrhoea via 75SeHCAT, of which 64 patients (31.6%) had a 75SeHCAT test result of >15%, while 62.8% of those investigated were diagnosed with bile acid diarrhoea (BAD). In total, 133 (65.8%) patients also underwent endoscopy and 74 (36.6%) patients had a CT scan. Median time from surgery to 75SeHCAT test was 672 days (SD ± 482 days). Discussion/Conclusion: Only a small proportion of patients, post-cholecystectomy, were investigated for diarrhoea with significant time delay to diagnosis. The true prevalence of BAD after cholecystectomy may be much higher, and clinicians need to have an increased awareness of this condition due to its amenability to treatment. 75SeHCAT is a useful tool for diagnosis of bile acid diarrhoea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2447-2453
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number8
Early online date12 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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