Loozen CS, et al. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy versus percutaneous catheter drainage for acute cholecystitis in high risk patients (CHOCOLATE): multicentre randomised clinical trial. BMJ. 2018 Oct 8; 363:k3965.
Main outcome measures: The primary endpoints were death within one year and the occurrence of major complications, defined as infectious and cardiopulmonary complications within one month, need for reintervention (surgical, radiological, or endoscopic that had to be related to acute cholecystitis) within one year, or recurrent biliary disease within one year.
Results: The trial was concluded early after a planned interim analysis. The rate of death did not differ between the laparoscopic cholecystectomy and percutaneous catheter drainage group (3% v 9%, P=0.27), but major complications occurred in eight of 66 patients (12%) assigned to cholecystectomy and in 44 of 68 patients (65%) assigned to percutaneous drainage (risk ratio 0.19, 95% confidence interval 0.10 to 0.37; P<0.001). In the drainage group 45 patients (66%) required a reintervention compared with eight patients (12%) in the cholecystectomy group (P<0.001). Recurrent biliary disease occurred more often in the percutaneous drainage group (53% v 5%, P<0.001), and the median length of hospital stay was longer (9 days v 5 days, P<0.001).