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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General Support Organizations

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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 284 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Risk factors for gallstones and kidney stones in a cohort of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases.
 

Author(s): Stefania Fagagnini, Henriette Heinrich, Jean-BenoƮt Rossel, Luc Biedermann, Pascal Frei, Jonas Zeitz, Marianne Spalinger, Edouard Battegay, Lukas Zimmerli, Stephan R Vavricka, Gerhard Rogler, Michael Scharl, Benjamin Misselwitz

Journal:

 

Gallstones and kidney stones are known complications of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Risk factors have been insufficiently studied and explanatory studies date back up to 30 years. It remains unclear, whether improved treatment options also influenced risk factors for these complications.

Last Updated: 12 Oct 2017

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Nonalcoholic fatty liver was associated with asymptomatic gallstones in a Chinese population.
 

Author(s): Qiao-Hua Qiao, Wen-Hua Zhu, Yun-Xian Yu, Fei-Fei Huang, Li-Ying Chen

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Sep;96(38):e7853.

 

The aim of this study was to determine the association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and asymptomatic gallstones in a Chinese population.The study had a cross-sectional design and enrolled 7583 subjects who visited the physical check-up center at Sir Run Run Shaw ...

Last Updated: 20 Sep 2017

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Efficacy and safety of laparoscopic bile duct exploration versus endoscopic sphincterotomy for concomitant gallstones and common bile duct stones: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
 

Author(s): Ying-Chao Gao, Jinjun Chen, Qiyu Qin, Hu Chen, Wei Wang, Jian Zhao, Fulong Miao, Xin Shi

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Sep;96(37):e7925.

 

The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) plus laparoscopic common bile duct (CBD) stones exploration (LCBDE) with LC plus endoscopic sphincterotomy (EST) in the treatment of patients with gallstones and CBD stones.

Last Updated: 14 Sep 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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Multimedia Informed Consent & PROMs in Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Gallstone Disease

 

Last Updated: 29 Dec 2016

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