Background: The present study is a meta-analysis of English articles comparing one-stage [laparoscopic common bile duct exploration or intra-operative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)] vs. two-stage (laparoscopic cholecystectomy preceded or followed by ERCP) management of common bile duct stones.
Methods: MEDLINE/PubMed and Science Citation Index databases (1990–2011) were searched for randomized, controlled trials that met the inclusion criteria for data extraction. Outcomes were calculated as odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using RevMan 5.1.
Results: Nine trials with 933 patients were studied. No significant differences was observed between the two groups with regard to bile duct clearance (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.65–1.21), mortality (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.32–4.52), total morbidity (OR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.53–1.06), major morbidity (OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.60–1.52) and the need for additional procedures (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 0.76–3.30).
Conclusions: Outcomes after one-stage laparoscopic/endoscopic management of bile duct stones are no different to the outcomes after two-stage management.