Fast Five Quiz: Gallbladder Disease

B.S. Anand, MD


December 08, 2021

Crohn's disease, ileal resection, or other diseases of the ileum decrease bile salt reabsorption and increase the risk for gallstone formation.

Cholesterol gallstones are more common in women, individuals of European or Native American ancestry, and older people. Other risk factors include:

  • Obesity

  • Pregnancy

  • Gallbladder stasis

  • Drugs

  • Heredity

  • Rapid weight loss

  • Total parenteral nutrition

Black pigment gallstones occur disproportionately in individuals with high heme turnover. Disorders of hemolysis associated with pigment gallstones include sickle cell anemia, hereditary spherocytosis, and beta-thalassemia. About half of all cirrhotic patients have pigment gallstones.

Brown pigment gallstones are not common in the United States. However, in rice-growing regions of East Asia, infestation with biliary flukes may produce biliary strictures and predispose to formation of brown pigment gallstones throughout intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts. This condition, termed hepatolithiasis, causes recurrent cholangitis and predisposes to biliary cirrhosis and cholangiocarcinoma.

Learn more about the causes of gallstones.


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