Two infants with spontaneous perforation of the common bile duct are described. One presented with mild jaundice, dark urine, acholic stools, and hydroceles, the other with bilateral inguinal hernia. In both the diagnosis was unsuspected until bile-stained ascites was discovered. Both eventually developed bile-staining of the scrotum. Neither was acutely ill. The 131I-Rose Bengal faecal excretion test showed reduced faecal excretion at 8% and 12% of the injected dose with 16-5 and 17%/dl of the dose being recovered in the ascitic fluid 48 hours after intravenous injection. The ascitic:plasma ratio of isotope at that time was 32:1 and 28:1. Operative cholangiography in both showed a perforation at the junction of the cystic duct and common bile duct with no contrast entering the duodenum. Cholecystenterostomy using a Roux-en-Y loop of jejunum produced a rapid sustained recovery and is suggested as the treatment of choice. This condition should be considered in the differential diagnosis of obstructive jaundice in infancy since early surgical correction is necessary
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