Gallbladder absorption increases during early cholesterol gallstone formation

Am J Surg. 1986 Jan;151(1):184-91. doi: 10.1016/0002-9610(86)90030-9.


The hypothesis that the presence of cholelithogenic bile during the early stages of cholesterol gallstone formation promotes gallbladder absorption of water and electrolytes was tested in a prairie dog gallstone model. An increase in gallbladder transport of water and sodium was observed in cholesterol-fed prairie dogs at a time when cholesterol crystals were present, but before gallstone formation. These data suggest that in the presence of cholesterol-saturated bile, in vivo gallbladder absorption is increased during the early stages of cholesterol gallstone formation. The resulting increase in the solute concentration may promote nucleation and, therefore, be an important etiologic factor in cholesterol gallstone formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Animals
  • Bile / analysis
  • Bile Ducts
  • Biological Transport
  • Body Water / metabolism
  • Cholelithiasis / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Electrolytes / metabolism
  • Gallbladder / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sciuridae
  • Time Factors


  • Electrolytes
  • Cholesterol