Ultrasonography incorrectly diagnoses gallbladder polyps

Lawrence J. Damore, Charles H. Cook, Kristen L. Fernandez, Jerome Cunningham, E. Christopher Ellison, W. Scott Melvin

23 Scopus citations


To determine the accuracy of ultrasound-diagnosed polypoid lesions of the gallbladder in their institution, the authors reviewed the records of 41 patients with polypoid lesions of the gallbladder who underwent cholecystectomy, and collected data concerning age, sex, symptoms, and histopathologic diagnosis. Histopathologic evaluation confirmed polyps in only two patients (4.9%) categorized as having polypoid lesions of the gallbladder. Most specimens from patients with ultrasonography reports suggesting small polyps manifested cholesterolosis (17 of 41) or cholelithiasis (15 of 41). No specimen harbored malignancy. Mean patient age was 47.4 years, and the most common symptoms were pain (85%), nausea (44%), vomiting (29%), and abnormal liver function test results (14%). The accuracy of sonography for diagnosing polypoid lesions of the gallbladder was poor. Many of the small polyps seen on sonography most likely represented a stone embedded in the gallbladder wall or other abnormality. Because of the likelihood of cholelithiasis, the authors recommend that patients with biliary symptoms and ultrasonography findings suggesting polypoid lesions of the gallbladder undergo cholecystectomy.

Cite this