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Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal

Abstract

Sonography is valuable in the accurate diagnosis of gallstones. All but the smallest stones attenuate sound, a phenomenon known as acoustic shadowing. However, when small focal nonshadowing opacities are present, the diagnostic question is whether they represent small calculi. In a four-year review of sonographic studies performed at Henry Ford Hospital, 12 patients in whom this sonographic finding was present underwent cholecystectomies, and seven had calculi (58%). If the presence of gallstones is the factor that will determine whether surgery will be performed, we recommend a repeat examination to confirm the presence of the focal opacities and to elicit acoustic shadowing.

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