Gallstone Disease and Its Complications

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Gallstone disease is one of the most common disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, and more cholecystectomies are performed each year in the United States than any other elective abdominal operation. As such, clinicians need a fundamental knowledge of gallstone disease and the common complications that are associated with this disease. Overall, the prevalence of gallstones in the United States is approximately 10% to 15%, of which, approximately 80% are without symptoms. Symptoms will occur in approximately 20% of those with gallstones, and this subgroup is at the highest risk for developing serious complications from their gallstone disease. These complications can range from simple recurrent biliary colic to severe, life-threatening ascending cholangitis and/or pancreatitis. This review will outline the basis for gallstone formation, the underlying mechanisms that result in gallstone-induced symptoms and a rational approach to individuals who present with symptoms consistent with gallstone disease. Current diagnostic and treatment modalities will be discussed, with a particular emphasis on acute cholecystitis and acute biliary pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-177
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Gastrointestinal Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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