Author(s): Portincasa P, Di Ciaula A, Vendemiale G, Palmieri V, Moschetta A,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Little is known about gallbladder motility in patients with black pigment stones when compared to cholesterol gallstone patients, or about their relationship to biliary composition, crystallization and stone characteristics. DESIGN: Fasting and postprandial gallbladder volumes were studied by ultrasonography in 49 gallstone patients with pigment (n = 14) or cholesterol (n = 35) stones and 30 healthy controls. After cholecystectomy stone composition, gallbladder wall inflammation, cholesterol saturation index and appearance of platelike cholesterol crystals in bile were evaluated in gallstone patients. RESULTS: Fasting gallbladder volume was significantly (P < 0.05) increased in cholesterol stone patients (31.7 +/- 1.9 mL) but not in pigment stone patients (21.9 +/- 3.1 mL), compared to controls (21.0 +/- 1.5 mL). Postprandial emptying was delayed in patients (half-emptying time: 31 +/- 2 min, 35 +/- 3 min, 24 +/- 2 min in cholesterol stone patients, pigment stone patients and controls, respectively, P < 0.05) and incomplete (residual volume: 43.2 +/- 2.7\%, 40.0 +/- 4.3\%, 15.8 +/- 1.6\% min in cholesterol stone patients, pigment stone patients and controls, respectively, P < 0.05). The inflammation of the gallbladder wall was mild or absent in all cases. Biliary cholesterol saturation index was 152.3 +/- 8.5\% and 92.9 +/- 4.8\% in patients with cholesterol and pigment stones, respectively (P < 0.01). Whereas cholesterol crystals never appeared during 21 days in biles from patients with pigment stones, crystal observation time in patients with cholesterol gallstone was 5 days (median) and was significantly shorter in patients with multiple (4 days) than in patients with solitary (12 days) cholesterol stones (P = 0.0019). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with black pigment stones who do not have excess cholesterol and do not grow cholesterol crystals in bile have decreased gallbladder emptying, although to a lesser extent than patients with cholesterol stones. Thus, gallbladder stasis is likely to put a subset of subjects at risk for the formation of pigment gallstones, and pathogenic mechanisms need to be further investigated.
This article was published in Eur J Clin Invest
and referenced in Journal of Metabolic Syndrome