Fasting gallbladder volume, postprandial emptying and cholecystokinin release in gallstone patients and normal subjects

J Hepatol. 1992 Mar;14(2-3):194-202. doi: 10.1016/0168-8278(92)90158-l.


Since abnormal gallbladder emptying may be a contributing factor in the development of gallstone disease, we determined fasting gallbladder volume and postprandial contraction in 20 gallstone patients and 20 normal subjects with the aid of ultrasonography. Moreover, basal plasma cholecystokinin levels and postprandial cholecystokinin (CCK) release were determined. Gallstone patients were divided into strong contractors (13 pts) and weak contractors (below 95% confidence interval for AUC contraction in % during 90 min: 7 pts). Strong contractor patients had significantly larger mean fasting volumes than normal subjects (mean +/- S.E.: 34.9 +/- 6.1 ml and 18.9 +/- 1.6 ml, respectively). This was not true for weak contractor patients (mean fasting volume 23.2 +/- 3.2 ml). Both strong contractor and weak contractor patients had significantly higher mean residual volumes than normal subjects (17.0 +/- 4.1 ml, 18.0 +/- 2.9 ml, and 8.8 +/- 1.1 ml, respectively). Absolute gallbladder emptying was significantly higher for strong contractor patients than for normal subjects, but relative emptying was the same. Opposite patterns of CCK release occurred in gallstone patients and normal subjects. In normal subjects, more CCK release was associated with stronger gallbladder emptying. In contrast, weak contractor gallstone patients had significantly higher CCK release than strong contractor patients. (AUC CCK: 304 +/- 89 pmol/l x 90 min and 106 +/- 29 pmol/l x 90 min, respectively). The present study indicates that strong contractor gallstone patients may have large residual gallbladder volumes due to large starting volumes, whereas weak contractor patients may have large residual volumes due to impaired contraction. Subjects with large fasting and residual volumes may be at increased risk for gallstone disease.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cholecystokinin / blood
  • Cholecystokinin / metabolism*
  • Cholelithiasis / blood
  • Cholelithiasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Cholelithiasis / physiopathology*
  • Eating
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Gallbladder / anatomy & histology*
  • Gallbladder / diagnostic imaging
  • Gallbladder / physiopathology
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle, Smooth / anatomy & histology
  • Muscle, Smooth / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiopathology
  • Reference Values
  • Ultrasonography


  • Cholecystokinin