The frequency of gallbladder stones in patients with pernicious anemia

J Surg Res. 2001 Dec;101(2):120-3. doi: 10.1006/jsre.2001.6269.


Background: Ineffective erythropoiesis and intramedullary hemolysis are the two important results of pernicious anemia. Hemolysis is one of the risk factors in the formation of gallbladder stones.

Patients and methods: The frequency of gallstones was searched in 59 patients with pernicious anemia and in 54 healthy subjects.

Results: Nineteen (32.2%) patients in the pernicious anemia group and three (5.5%) patients in the control group were detected to have gallstones. Pernicious anemia patients with and without gallbladder stones were also compared for mean corpuscular volume, hemoglobin, unconjugated bilirubin, lactic dehydrogenase, and vitamin B12 levels but no statistically significant difference was encountered.

Conclusion: Apart from other risk factors, pernicious anemia itself increases the frequency of gallbladder stones. Should patients with pernicious anemia develop upper-abdominal pain or other symptoms referable to biliary tract disease, a high index of suspicion for gallstone-related disease should be maintained.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia, Pernicious / complications*
  • Cholelithiasis / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood


  • Hemoglobins
  • Vitamin B 12