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Saudi Med J. 2004 Sep;25(9):1226-8.

Cholesterolosis. Incidence, correlation with serum cholesterol level and the role of laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

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Department of Surgery (37), Faculty of Medicine and King Khalid University Hospital, PO Box 7805, Riyadh 11472, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



To report the incidence of cholesterolosis in the surgically removed gallbladders, its association with serum cholesterol level and to review the role of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the treatment.


This retrospective study included all patients who had consecutive cholecystectomies for various gallbladder disorders, performed by 2 consultants during a 5-year period from January 1997 through to December 2002, in the College of Medicine and King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The clinical records of those found to have cholesterolosis on histopathological examination were reviewed, and the data were analyzed for their age, sex, fasting serum cholesterol level and the final outcome of cholecystectomy.


The study group was comprised of 549 patients and out of which, 74 (13.4%) had cholesterolosis of the gallbladder. There were 59 (79.9%) female and 15 (20.1%) male patients. Age ranged from 18-64-years with a mean of 35.7-years. Sixty-three (85.1%) cases were reported to have abnormally high fasting serum cholesterol levels (>=5.5 mmol/L), whereas 11 (14.9%) had normal serum cholesterol level. Cholesterolosis with coexistent gallstones was documented in 47 (63.3%) patients while 27 (36.5%) subjects showed acalculous cholesterolosis. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed in 71 (95.9%) individuals, whereas 3 patients ended up with open cholecystectomy (conversion rate of 4.2%). There were no postoperative complications.


Cholesterolosis of the gallbladder is a distinct pathologic entity and carries a positive correlation with high serum cholesterol level. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is effective, safe and a feasible treatment modality for cholesterolosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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