Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Gallstones are usually silent. Less commonly, patients with cholelithiasis develop symptoms and/or complications; biliary fistula occurs in 3% to 5% of the cases. When a large stone is passed and occludes the duodenum, gastric outlet obstruction (the Bouveret syndrome) may result. In reported cases, the stones are usually larger than 2.5 cm. The usual presenting symptoms are those of bowel obstruction: abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Less commonly, the patients experience melena and, rarely, hematemesis. We describe a patient who had the largest stone reported to cause hematemesis rather than bowel obstruction and to be diagnosed endoscopically. The 5 X 4 X 3 cm stone was extracted surgically. Endoscopic diagnosis and extraction of stones up to 3 cm in size has been reported, avoiding the need for surgery.