Gallstone Disease

Posted by e-Medical PPT Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Gallstones (choleliths) are crystalline bodies formed in the biliary system of the body by accretion or concretion of normal or abnormal bile components.
Gallstones have different appearance, depending on their contents. On the basis of their contents, gallstones can be subdivided into the two following types:
* Cholesterol stones are usually green, but are sometimes white or yellow in color. They are made primarily of cholesterol.Increased levels of the hormone estrogen as a result of pregnancy, hormone therapy, or the use of combined (estrogen-containing) forms of hormonal contraception, may increase cholesterol levels in bile and also decrease gallbladder movement, resulting in gallstone formation.
* Pigment stones are small, dark stones made of bilirubin and calcium salts that are found in bile. They contain less than 20% of cholesterol. Risk factors for pigment stones include hemolytic anemia (such as sickle cell anemia and hereditary spherocytosis), cirrhosis, and biliary tract infections.
Cholesterol gallstones can sometimes be dissolved by oral ursodeoxycholic acid.Obstruction of the common bile duct with gallstones can sometimes be relieved by endoscopic retrograde sphincterotomy following endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) has a 99% chance of eliminating the recurrence of cholelithiasis.However, there is a significant portion of the population who develop a condition called postcholecystectomy syndrome.

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