Gallstones

Common Name(s)

Gallstones, Cholelithiasis

Gallstones, also called cholelithiasis, are hard deposits that form in your gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small organ located on the right side of the abdomen, just under the liver. It is responsible for the creation of bile, which is a substance that helps digest fats, including cholesterol. If there is too much cholesterol for the bile to dissolve, if the bile contains too much bilirubin, or if the gallbladder does not empty correctly, gallstones can form. In many cases, gallstones do not cause any issues. However, if the gallstones are large enough, they may cause redness and swelling (inflammation) of the gallbladder, blockage in the parts of the gallbladder and pancreas, and even gallbladder cancer. If the gallstones cause symptoms, they may include pain in the abdomen, pain between the shoulder blades or pain in the right shoulder.

Risk factors for gallstones include being a female above 60 years of age, being overweight, eating a high-cholesterol and high-fat diet, having a family history of gallstones or diabetes, and taking certain cholesterol reducing medications. Your doctor can diagnose gallstones by taking images of your gallbladder, including a CT scan or MRI. Blood tests may also be needed to look for infection or other complications caused by gallstones. Treatment is not necessary if you do not have symptoms. However, if you have symptoms or other complications that are caused by gallstones, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the gallbladder or medications to dissolve gallstones. If you have been diagnosed with gallstones, talk with your doctor about the current treatment recommendations.

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Gallstones" for support, advocacy or research.

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Gallstones" returned 280 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Gallbladder microbiota variability in Colombian gallstones patients.
 

Author(s): Ariel Antonio Arteta, Hernan Carvajal-Restrepo, Miryan Margot Sánchez-Jiménez, Sergio Diaz-Rodriguez, Nora Cardona-Castro

Journal:

 

Gallbladder stones are a very frequently occurring condition. Despite bile bactericidal activity, many bacteria have been detected inside the gallbladder, and gallstones facilitate their presence. Between 3% and 5% of the patients with Salmonella spp. infection develop the carrier ...

Last Updated: 3 Apr 2017

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A New Paradigm in Gallstones Diseases and Marked Elevation of Transaminases: An Observational Study.
 

Author(s): Sara Campos, Nuno Silva, Armando Carvalho

Journal: Ann Hepatol. ;16(2):285-290.

 

In clinical practice, it is assumed that a severe rise in transaminases is caused by ischemic, viral or toxic hepatitis. Nevertheless, cases of biliary obstruction have increasingly been associated with significant hypertransaminemia. With this study, we sought to determine the true ...

Last Updated: 24 Feb 2017

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Activation of the Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1α Subunit Pathway in Steatotic Liver Contributes to Formation of Cholesterol Gallstones.
 

Author(s): Yoichiro Asai, Tetsuya Yamada, Sohei Tsukita, Kei Takahashi, Masamitsu Maekawa, Midori Honma, Masanori Ikeda, Keigo Murakami, Yuichiro Munakata, Yuta Shirai, Shinjiro Kodama, Takashi Sugisawa, Yumiko Chiba, Yasuteru Kondo, Keizo Kaneko, Kenji Uno, Shojiro Sawada, Junta Imai, Yasuhiro Nakamura, Hiroaki Yamaguchi, Kozo Tanaka, Hironobu Sasano, Nariyasu Mano, Yoshiyuki Ueno, Tooru Shimosegawa, Hideki Katagiri

Journal: Gastroenterology. 2017 May;152(6):1521-1535.e8.

 

Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α subunit (HIF1A) is a transcription factor that controls the cellular response to hypoxia and is activated in hepatocytes of patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD increases the risk for cholesterol gallstone disease by unclear mechanisms. ...

Last Updated: 15 Jan 2017

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Gallstones" returned 38 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Gallstones in Patients with Chronic Liver Diseases.
 

Author(s): Xu Li, Xiaolin Guo, Huifan Ji, Ge Yu, Pujun Gao

Journal: Biomed Res Int. 2017 ;2017():9749802.

 

With prevalence of 10-20% in adults in developed countries, gallstone disease (GSD) is one of the most prevalent and costly gastrointestinal tract disorders in the world. In addition to gallstone disease, chronic liver disease (CLD) is also an important global public health problem. ...

Last Updated: 2 Mar 2017

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Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of cholecystectomy compared with observation/conservative management for preventing recurrent symptoms and complications in adults presenting with uncomplicated symptomatic gallstones or cholecystitis: a systematic review and economic evaluation.
 

Author(s): Miriam Brazzelli, Moira Cruickshank, Mary Kilonzo, Irfan Ahmed, Fiona Stewart, Paul McNamee, Andrew Elders, Cynthia Fraser, Alison Avenell, Craig Ramsay

Journal: Health Technol Assess. 2014 Aug;18(55):1-101, v-vi.

 

Approximately 10-15% of the adult population suffer from gallstone disease, cholelithiasis, with more women than men being affected. Cholecystectomy is the treatment of choice for people who present with biliary pain or acute cholecystitis and evidence of gallstones. However, some ...

Last Updated: 28 Aug 2014

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Gallstones in patients with liver cirrhosis: incidence, etiology, clinical and therapeutical aspects.
 

Author(s): Monica Acalovschi

Journal: World J. Gastroenterol.. 2014 Jun;20(23):7277-85.

 

Gallstones occur in about one third of the patients having liver cirrhosis. Pigment gallstones are the most frequent type, while cholesterol stones represent about 15% of all stones in cirrhotics. Increased secretion of unconjugated bilirubin, increased hydrolysis of conjugated bilirubin ...

Last Updated: 26 Jun 2014

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Early Cholecystectomy in Patients With Mild Gallstone Acute Pancreatitis
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Gallstone Pancreatitis

 

Last Updated: 30 Dec 2015

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Last Updated: 12 Jul 2017

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The Role of Ursodeoxycholic Acid in Treatment of Gallstones in Hemolytic Disorders
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Hemolytic Disorders; Gallstones

 

Last Updated: 1 Jun 2016

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