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Chenodiol for Gallstones: Dissolution or Disillusion?

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Gastrointestinal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital; Boston, Massachusetts

Ann Intern Med. 1981;95(3):377-379. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-95-3-377
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It has been approximately 10 years since Danziger and associates (1) reported that oral administration of chenodiol (chenodeoxycholic acid) was effective in dissolving cholesterol gallstones. Their observations provided the first hope that there might be an alternative to cholecystectomy for patients with gallstones. Subsequently, numerous reports supported the initial findings, and there was understandable enthusiasm in the United States and elsewhere about the future role of chenodiol in gallstone dissolution. Because data on the drug's safety and efficacy were inadequate, however, the National Cooperative Gallstone Study was initiated to obtain more information about the usefulness and risks of chenodiol treatment


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