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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Feb;24(2):219-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2008.05689.x. Epub 2008 Nov 26.

Long-term follow up of gallbladder polyps.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.



The management of gallbladder polyps (GBP) is directly linked to the early diagnosis of gallbladder cancer (GBC). This study aimed to evaluate the malignant risk of GBP.


In total, 1558 patients diagnosed with GBP were followed. Neoplastic polyps were defined as GBC and its premalignant lesions. The risk for malignancy was estimated with the cumulative detection rate of neoplastic polyps.


Thirty-three cases (2.1%) were diagnosed with neoplastic polyps. The cumulative detection rates of neoplastic polyps were 1.7% at 1 year, 2.8% at 5 years, and 4% at 8 years after diagnosis. The size of GBP and the presence of gallstones were risk factors for neoplastic polyps. Polyps > or = 10 mm had a 24.2 times greater risk of malignancy than polyps < 10 mm. However, 15 of 33 neoplastic polyps (45.5%) were < 10 mm at the time of diagnosis of GBP. During follow up in 36 (3.5%) of 1027 cases, an increase in size was detected; of these, nine (25%) had neoplastic polyps.


Even small polyps have a risk of malignancy, and careful long-term follow up of GBP will help detect and treat early GBC.

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