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J Med Case Rep. 2008 May 22;2:173. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-2-173.

Heterotopic gastrointestinal cyst mimicking chronic cholecystitis: a case report.

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Department of Surgery, Medical Faculty, Thracian University, University Hospital, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.



Heterotopic gastric mucosa is described almost everywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, from the oral cavity to the rectum. The occurrence of heterotopic gastric tissue in the gallbladder is rare. A choristoma can be defined as a new growth developing from a displaced anlage not normally present in the anatomical site where it developed. We present an extremely uncommon case of a cyst (choristoma) attached to the gallbladder, which contained gastric and intestinal mucosa.


A 33-year-old woman was hospitalized with clinical symptoms of chronic cholecystitis. The laboratory findings were within the normal range. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed a thickened gallbladder wall and a stone in the cystic duct was suspected. In the course of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a cyst was visualized in the vicinity of the duct and the gallbladder neck. Microscopic examination of the removed cyst revealed evidence of gastric, duodenal and small-intestinal mucosa. The immunohistochemical study revealed many endocrine cells, which were positive for several endocrine cell markers such as chromogranin, serotonin, gastrin and so on. It can be inferred that the observed cyst had arisen from the foregut early in the development of the gastrointestinal tract.


The presence of endocrine cells together with epithelial cells supports the hypothesis that these had developed simultaneously, and that the endocrine cells had probably supported the development of the epithelial cells by the release of hormones and growth factors. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this report is the first to report a gastrointestinal cyst choristoma with endocrine cells in the region of the cystic duct and gallbladder.

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