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World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Mar 7;14(9):1383-8.

Management of cholelithiasis in Italian children: a national multicenter study.

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Pediatric Liver Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University Federico II of Naples, Via S. Pansini 5, Naples 80131, Italy.



To evaluate the management of Italian children with cholelithiasis observed at Pediatric and Surgical Departments linked to Italian Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition.


One-hundred-eighty children (90 males, median age at diagnosis 7.3 years; range, 0-18 years) with echographic evidence of cholelithiasis were enrolled in the study; the data were collected by an anonymous questionnaire sent to participating centers.


One hundred seventeen patients were treated with ursodeoxycholic acid; in 8 children dissolution of gallstones was observed, but the cholelithiasis recurred in 3 of them. Sixty-five percent of symptomatic children treated became asymptomatic. Sixty-four patients were treated with cholecystectomy and in only 2 cases a postoperative complication was reported. Thirty-four children received no treatment and were followed with clinical and echographic controls; in no case the development of complications was reported.


The therapeutic strategies were extremely heterogeneous. Ursodeoxycholic acid was ineffective in dissolution of gallstones but it had a positive effect on the symptoms. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was confirmed to be an efficacy and safe treatment for pediatric gallstones.

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