Efficacy and safety of laparoscopic bile duct exploration versus endoscopic sphincterotomy for concomitant gallstones and common bile duct stones: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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Background:The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) plus laparoscopic common bile duct (CBD) stones exploration (LCBDE) with LC plus endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST) in the treatment of patients with gallstones and CBD stones.Methods:The authors searched PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase to identify relevant studies. Risk ratios (RRs) were pooled to compare stone clear, retained stone, conversion to other procedures, and complications. Weighted mean differences (WMDs) were pooled to compare operative time, and length of hospital stay. A fixed-effects model or random-effects model was used to pool the estimates, according to the heterogeneity among the included studies.Results:A total of 11 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 1663 patients were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled estimate suggested that LC-LCBDE had comparable effects with LC-EST in terms of CBD stone clear rate (RR = 1.02, 95% CI: 0.95, 1.09; P = .583), retained stones rate (RR = 1.27, 95% CI: 0.51, 3.19; P = .607), and length of hospital stay (WMD = −0.96 days, 95% CI: −2.20, 0.28). In addition, LC-LCBDE was associated with significantly higher conversion rate (RR = 1.59, 95% CI: 1.08, 2.35; P = .019) and less operative time (WMD = −11.55 minutes, 95% CI: −16.68, −6.42; P < .001) than LC-EST. The incidence of complications was not significant difference between the 2 surgical approaches (RR = 1.07, 95% CI: 0.86, 1.34; P = .550).Conclusion:Based on the current evidence, both LC-LCBDE and LC-EST were highly effective in detecting and removing CBD stones and were equivalent in complications. However, our results might be biased by the limitations. Large-scale well-designed RCTs are needed to confirm our findings.

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