Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography
Perkutan transhepatische Cholangiographie.jpg
Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography
OPS-301 code3-13c.1

Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTHC or PTC) or percutaneous hepatic cholangiogram is a radiological technique used to visualize the anatomy of the biliary tract. A contrast medium is injected into a bile duct in the liver, after which X-rays are taken. It allows access to the biliary tree in cases where endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) has been unsuccessful. Initially reported in 1937, the procedure became popular in 1952.[1][2]


It is predominantly now performed as a therapeutic technique. There are less invasive means of imaging the biliary tree including transabdominal ultrasound, magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, computed tomography and endoscopic ultrasound. If the biliary system is obstructed, PTC may be used to perform biliary drainage until a more permanent solution for the obstruction is performed (e.g. surgery). Additionally, self expanding metal stents can be placed across malignant biliary strictures to allow palliative drainage. Percutaneous placement of metal stents can be utilised when therapeutic ERCP has been unsuccessful, anatomy is altered precluding endoscopic access to the duodenum, or where there has been separation of the segmental biliary drainage of the liver, allowing more selective placement of metal stents.

Cholangiography during a biliary drainage intervention is called perioperative or primary choloangiography, and when performed later in the same drain it is called secondary cholangiography.[3]


Cholestatic jaundice, to exclude extra hepatic bile duct obstruction, prior to biliary drainage procedure.

If ERCP is failed and/or there is an obstruction in the proximal billiary tree



It is generally accepted that percutaneous biliary procedures have higher complication rates than therapeutic ERCP. Complications encountered include infection, bleeding and bile leaks.


  1. ^ Carter RF, Saypol GM (1952). "Transabdominal cholangiography". Journal of the American Medical Association. 148 (4): 253–5. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930040009002. PMID 14888454.
  2. ^ Atkinson M, Happey MG, Smiddy FG (1960). "Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography". Gut. 1 (4): 357–65. doi:10.1136/gut.1.4.357. PMC 1413224. PMID 13684978.
  3. ^ Schuberth, O. O.; Sjogren, S. E. (2010). "On Cholangiography". Acta Radiologica. 22 (5–6): 780–795. doi:10.3109/00016924109136457. ISSN 0001-6926.

External links[edit]