[Biliary lithiasis in childhood. A spectrum of diseases with different clinical significance during fetal life, childhood and adolescence]

Minerva Pediatr. 1998 Apr;50(4):127-36.
[Article in Italian]


On the basis of a research on fetal cholelithiasis, a review on the various form of cholelithiasis in pediatric age has been carried out. These include, in addition to fetal cholelithiasis, lithiasis in the first year of life and lithiasis in infancy and adolescence. These various expressions of the same pathology differ for incidence, predisposing factors, clinical situation, therapy and follow-up. The research conducted on fetal cholelithiasis showed an incidence of 0.39%, higher than expected. There isn't any maternal, obstetrical or fetal predisposing factor. The diagnosis is purely instrumental and is not correlated with known clinical or humoral data. The most frequent evolution is spontaneous resolution of the biliary echogenic images in absence of clinical manifestations; the complications are rare and not well documented. Cholelithiasis in the first years of life is correlated with malformative, pharmacologic or iatrogenic predisposing factors. The clinical situations include symptomless cases with spontaneous resolution and cases with serious complications. Therapy is to be chosen in each case in accordance with clinical features. Pediatric cholelithiasis beyond the first year of life, especially in the later childhood and adolescence, can be similar to cholelithiasis of adults for epidemiology, pathogenesis, symptomatology and therapy.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic
  • Cholelithiasis* / diagnosis
  • Cholelithiasis* / therapy
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Fetal Diseases* / therapy
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal