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Hepatology. 2005 Jun;41(6):1322-8.

Changes in gallbladder bile composition and crystal detection time in morbidly obese subjects after bariatric surgery.

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Department of Surgery, Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The aim of the present study was to elucidate the mechanisms of development of cholesterol crystals and gallstones during weight reduction in obese subjects. Twenty-five morbidly obese, gallstone-free subjects underwent vertical-banded gastroplasty. Gallbladder bile was collected at the time of the operation via needle aspiration and 1.1-7.3 months after the operation via ultrasound-guided transhepatic puncture of the gallbladder. The mean weight loss was 17 kg. Two patients developed gallstones and 10 patients displayed cholesterol crystals in their bile. In patients with a follow-up time of less than 2 months (n = 13), cholesterol saturation increased from 90% to 114% but tended to decrease in the patients with a follow-up time of more than 2 months. The extraction of the concanavalin-A-binding fraction from gallbladder bile obtained after weight reduction in 7 patients prolonged crystallization detection time from 6 to 10 days. The hexosamine concentration, a marker for mucin, was increased by about 100% in bile obtained in 6 of 7 patients after weight reduction. In conclusion, the results indicate that crystallization-promoting compounds (mucin) are of great importance in the development of cholesterol crystals and gallstones in obese subjects during weight reduction, probably because of defective gallbladder emptying.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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