Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth in Patients with Gallbladder Polyps: A Cross-Sectional Study

Int J Gen Med. 2023 Mar 1:16:813-822. doi: 10.2147/IJGM.S399812. eCollection 2023.


Purpose: There is probably a high prevalence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in patients with gallbladder polyps (GBPs). To date, no study has evaluated the occurrence of SIBO in patients with GBPs. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of SIBO in patients with GBPs and explore the possible association between these two conditions.

Patients and methods: The hydrogen-methane breath test was used to diagnose SIBO, and patients were divided into GBPs and control groups based on whether GBPs were found under ultrasound. Clinical and paraclinical factors were compared between the two groups.

Results: A total of 297 subjects were included in this study. The prevalence of SIBO was significantly higher in the GBPs group than in the control group (50.0% vs.30.8%, p<0.01). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that male (OR=2.26, 95% CI=1.12-4.57, p=0.023), SIBO (OR=3.21, 95% CI=1.69-6.11, p<0.001), fatty liver (OR=2.91, 95% CI= 1.50-5.64, p=0.002) and BMI (OR=1.13, 95% CI=1.01-1.26, p=0.035) were independently associated with GBPs. And by subgroup analysis, we found that the association between SIBO and GBPs was stronger in females than in males (p for interaction< 0.001). In addition, SIBO (OR=5.11, 95% CI=1.42-18.36, p=0.012) and fasting glucose (OR=3.04, 95% CI=1.27-7.28, p=0.013) were found to be associated with solitary polyps.

Conclusion: SIBO was highly prevalent in patients with GBPs, and this association seemed to be stronger among females.

Keywords: bacterial overgrowth; breath test; gallbladder polyps; gut microbiota.

Grants and funding

This study was supported by the Capital Health Research and Development of Special Fund Program of China (grant number: 2020-2-5113) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number:82070553)