Background: As many as 1.5 billion people around the world harbour Ascaris lumbricoides in the digestive tract. Gallbladder ascariasis, although less common than bile duct ascariasis, is quite often seen in endemic areas.
Methods: Some 1300 patients with hepatobiliary ascariasis, admitted between October 1992 and June 1998, were analysed prospectively. The clinical features and outcome of 56 cases of gallbladder ascariasis are presented.
Results: Forty-seven patients were diagnosed by ultrasonography and nine were diagnosed at laparotomy. Only ten patients diagnosed by ultrasonography expelled the worms spontaneously, with resolution of symptoms and signs. The remaining 37 patients underwent cholecystectomy.
Conclusion: Gallbladder ascariasis is a significant entity in endemic areas which usually requires cholecystectomy.