Apparent biliary pseudolithiasis during ceftriaxone therapy

K. L. Heim-Duthoy, E. M. Caperton, R. Pollock, G. R. Matzke, D. Enthoven, P. K. Peterson

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Biliary pseudolithiasis has been reported in patients who received ceftriaxone therapy. To examine this phenomenon further, serial gallbladder sonograms were evaluated in 44 adult patients who received intravenous ceftriaxone at 2 g or a placebo daily for 14 days in a double-blind controlled study. Ultrasound examinations of gallbladders were performed on days 1 of 14 of therapy and 2 weeks posttherapy if abnormalities were observed on day 14. Eight patients were unevaluable because of abnormal base-line gallbladder sonograms. Thirty-six patients (ceftriaxone, n = 28; placebo, n = 8) demonstrated normal baseline gallbladder sonograms and were evaluated for the development of change. A total of 6 of 28 (21.4%) ceftriaxone-treated patients and 1 of 8 (12.5%) patients who received the placebo demonstrated abnormal gallbladder sonograms on day 14 (P = 0.491). Four of the six ceftriaxone-treated patients demonstrating abnormal sonograms were clinically asymptomatic, while two patients reported vomiting. The abnormal sonograms of gallbladders of patients treated with ceftriaxone returned to normal between 9 and 26 days posttherapy. These data suggest an association between ceftriaxone treatment and the development of gallbladder abnormalities on ultrasound examination which resolve spontaneously on discontinuation of ceftriaxone therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1146-1149
Number of pages4
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990


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