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01.12.2019 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2019

Acute kidney injury due to high-output external biliary drainage in a patient with malignant obstructive jaundice: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2019
Umesh Jayarajah, Oshan Basnayake, Pradeep Kumara Wijerathne, Sivasuriya Sivaganesh
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Persistent high output is a rare but potentially serious complication of percutaneous biliary drainage.

Case presentation

A 68-year-old Sinhalese woman with a palliative self-expanding metal stent placed for an inoperable hilar cholangiocarcinoma presented with worsening obstructive jaundice. Ultrasonography showed intrahepatic duct dilatation with the self-expanding metal stent in situ. Since this was indicative of a blocked stent, percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram-guided internal biliary stenting through the self-expanding metal stent was attempted and failed. Therefore, an external biliary drain was left in the dilated biliary system. Post procedure, she developed a high biliary output of 3–4 liters per day and went into oliguric acute kidney injury with metabolic acidosis, most probably due to inadequate fluid replacement and hypovolemia.


Although the mechanism by which this occurs in some cases is unclear, early identification and prompt fluid resuscitation prevent acute kidney injury. The adoption of new strategies for internal drainage of long complex strictures will both prevent and ameliorate this problem.

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