Gallbladder function and dynamics of bile flow in asymptomatic gallstone disease

World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Jun 14;15(22):2763-7. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.2763.


Aim: To investigate the effects of gallbladder stones on motor functions of the gallbladder and the dynamics of bile flow in asymptomatic gallstone disease.

Methods: Quantitative hepatobiliary scintigraphy was performed to detect the parameters of gallbladder motor function [gallbladder ejection fraction (GBEF), gallbladder visualization time (GBVT), gallbladder time to peak activity (GBT(max)), gallbladder half emptying time (GBT(1/2)), and transit time of bile to duodenum (TTBD)] in 24 patients with asymptomatic cholelithiasis who were diagnosed incidentally during routine abdominal ultrasonographic examination and 20 healthy subjects with normal gallbladder.

Results: Even though there was no significant difference in the clinical and laboratory parameters between the patient and control groups, all parameters of gallbladder function except TTBD were found to differ significantly between the two groups. GBEF in the patient group was decreased (P = 0.000) and GBVT, GBT(max), GBT(1/2) in the patient group were longer (P = 0.000, P = 0.015, P = 0.001, respectively).

Conclusion: Our results showed that even if there were not any clinical and laboratory findings, gallbladder filling and emptying could be impaired in patients with gallstone disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bile / metabolism*
  • Cholelithiasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Cholelithiasis / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Gallbladder / diagnostic imaging
  • Gallbladder / physiology*
  • Gallbladder Emptying / physiology*
  • Gallstones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ultrasonography