Abnormal gallbladder nuclear ejection fraction predicts success of cholecystectomy in patients with biliary dyskinesia

Am J Surg. 1993 Dec;166(6):672-4; discussion 674-5. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9610(05)80677-4.


The management of patients with symptoms consistent with biliary tract disease who do not have gallstones is difficult. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 18 patients who underwent cholecystokinin cholescintigraphy at our institution to determine if this procedure was reliable in identifying patients who would benefit from cholecystectomy. All patients underwent biliary screening, and a gallbladder ejection fraction of less than or equal to 35% was considered abnormal. None of the patients had evidence of gallstones by ultrasound. There were 11 patients with abnormal ejection fractions. All 11 patients (100%) had "classic" biliary colic and underwent cholecystectomy. The pathologic diagnosis was chronic cholecystitis in every patient. All patients had complete relief of their symptoms postoperatively with a mean follow-up of 10 months. There were six patients with normal ejection fractions. Only one patient in this group had "classic" biliary colic. This patient had a gallbladder ejection fraction of 38% and endoscopic evidence of gastritis. This patient remains symptomatic despite H2 blockade. The remaining five patients had nonspecific right upper quadrant or epigastric pain. These patients had endoscopic evidence of gastritis, and symptoms were relieved with H2 blockade. The remaining patient had an indeterminate scan due to radioactivity in the duodenum overlying the gallbladder and was excluded from this analysis. Cholecystokinin cholescintigraphy is a useful test in identifying those patients with biliary dyskinesia or acalculous cholecystitis who will benefit from cholecystectomy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Biliary Dyskinesia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Biliary Dyskinesia / surgery*
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cholecystectomy*
  • Colic / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gallbladder / diagnostic imaging*
  • Gallbladder Emptying / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Retrospective Studies