Management of Polypoid Gallbladder Lesions in Children: A Multicenter Study

Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2018 Feb;28(1):6-11. doi: 10.1055/s-0037-1604114. Epub 2017 Jul 2.


Introduction: Polypoid lesions of the gallbladder (PLG) are relatively common in adults, while they are very rare in children. The use of high-quality ultrasonography leads to increased detection of PLG, although less than 20 pediatric cases of primary PLG have been reported in the literature. The aim of this study was to address the experience of PLG management in children.

Materials and methods: A retrospective multicenter review of children with ultrasonographically defined PLG between 2006 and 2016 was performed. The data from 12 pediatric surgery centers were compiled for this purpose.

Results: Eighteen patients (mean age: 10.4 ± 4.1 years) were included and managed according to each center's protocols. Cholecystectomy was performed for nine symptomatic patients. Histopathology conclusively revealed four tubular and five papillary adenomas, with a median size of 12 mm (ranging from 3 to 35 mm). Nine asymptomatic children were monitored by sonography over a 24-month (ranging from 12 to 66 months) follow-up period. The median PLG size was 7 mm (ranging from 3 to 9 mm). Two lesions disappeared after 1 and 2 years of follow-up, respectively. None of the patients developed symptoms or malignant transformation.

Conclusion: This report confirms appropriate use of a conservative approach with annual clinical and ultrasound follow-up for small-sized and isolated PLG in children given the absence of malignancy and potential vanishing entities. Surgical treatment should be considered in case of lesions larger than 10 mm in size or when they are associated with symptoms.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Adenoma / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholecystectomy*
  • Conservative Treatment*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polyps / diagnostic imaging
  • Polyps / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography
  • Watchful Waiting*