Oriental cholangiohepatitis is a condition occurring in the Asian population, characterised by recurrent bacterial cholangitis and presence of calculi within the intrahepatic bile ducts, biliary strictures and an increased risk for cholangiocarcinoma. It is an uncommon disease in the West that may not always be considered. The therapeutic approach is multidisciplinary and highly individual, and includes antibiotic therapy, endoscopic and percutaneous biliary drainage with stone removal and dilation of strictures, and in selected cases surgical resection of affected liver segments.
We report our experience with five relatively young adult patients largely originating from China, who presented with pyogenic cholangitis and were considered to suffer from oriental cholangiohepatitis.
To our knowledge this is the first report of this condition in the Netherlands. Physicians treating patients with pyogenic cholangitis should be aware of this disease and consider the diagnosis in all Asian immigrants with biliary tract disease.