Percutaneous transcholecystic biliary interventions using gallbladder anchors: Feasibility study in the swine

Jorge E. Lopera, David Kirsch, Zhong Qian, Bernardo Ruiz, Augusto Brazzini, Arturo Gonzales, Wilfrido Castaneda-Zuniga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to report our initial experience with a swine model for biliary interventions by using a percutaneous transcholecystic access after suture anchor of the gallbladder. Telepaque tablets were given to five pigs to opacify the gallbladder. Under fluoroscopy, the opacified gallbladder was punctured percutaneously and three suture anchors were used to fix the anterior wall of the gallbladder to the abdominal wall. Two weeks later, the gallbladder was punctured and access into the distal common bile was obtained through the cystic duct. Balloon expandable stents were deployed into the distal common bile duct. Follow-up cholangiograms were obtained at 1 and 2 weeks. Necropsy was performed after 2 weeks to evaluate the relationship between the gallbladder and abdominal wall. Suture anchor placement was successful in all five pigs. One pig with a deep and highly positioned gallbladder developed fever, anorexia, and vomiting secondary to excessive stretch of the gallbladder. Placement of the guidewire through the extremely tortuous and small cystic ducts proved to be the most challenging step of the procedure. Metallic stents were successfully deployed in all four pigs in which it was attempted. Four animals tolerated the procedures without changes in their clinical conditions and no symptoms. Successful follow-up cholangiograms were performed at 1 and 2 weeks post-stent deployment without complications. All stents remained patent during the follow-up period. Necropsy demonstrated close attachment and adherence of the gallbladders to the antero-lateral abdominal wall in all four animals. Suture anchoring of the gallbladder is feasible in most pigs with superficially located gallbladders. This technique allows a safe and repeat access into the biliary system using a transcholecystic approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-471
Number of pages5
JournalCardiovascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Animal model
  • Biliary interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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