Porcelain Gallbladder

July 1, 2004
Virendra Parikh, MD

During an evaluation to detect metastatic disease in a 75-year-oldwoman with recently diagnosed cecal cancer, a CT scan of the abdomenand pelvis revealed an incidental finding of a heavily calcifiedgallbladder. No metastases were found. The patient had nosymptoms related to gallbladder disease.

During an evaluation to detect metastatic disease in a 75-year-oldwoman with recently diagnosed cecal cancer, a CT scan of the abdomenand pelvis revealed an incidental finding of a heavily calcifiedgallbladder (arrow). No metastases were found. The patient had nosymptoms related to gallbladder disease.Virendra Parikh, MD, of Fort Wayne, Ind, notes that a porcelain gallbladder--or intramural calcification of the gallbladder wall--frequently progresses(in up to 20% of patients) to gallbladder carcinoma. The diagnosis can be madeby plain abdominal radiographs or CT scans.1 Prophylactic cholecystectomy istherefore indicated to prevent development of carcinoma.This patient underwent colon resection and cholecystectomy. At the timeof surgery, the gallbladder was firm and heavily calcified. Histopathologic examinationof gallbladder tissue did not show any malignancy.

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