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Gastroenterology. 1991 Jun;100(6):1665-70.

Ceftriaxone-associated gallbladder sludge. Identification of calcium-ceftriaxone salt as a major component of gallbladder precipitate.

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Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.


Ceftriaxone, a third-generation cephalosporin, is partially excreted into bile. With its clinical use, the formation of gallbladder sludge detected by ultrasonography has been reported. Four surgical specimens were examined and no gallstones were found. Instead, fine precipitates of 20-250 microns were present. Microscopically, there was a small number of cholesterol monohydrate crystals and bilirubin granules among an abundant amount of granular-crystalline material that was not morphologically cholesterol monohydrate crystals. The chemical composition of the precipitates (n = 4) was determined. There was a small amount of cholesterol (1.7% +/- 0.8%) and bilirubin (13.9% +/- 0.74%). The major component of the precipitate was a residue. On further analysis using thin-layer chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, and electron microprobe analysis, the residue was identified as a calcium salt of ceftriaxone. The residue also had identical crystal morphology and chromatographic elution profile as authentic calcium-ceftriaxone standards. It is concluded that ceftriaxone, after excretion and being concentrated in the gallbladder bile, can form a precipitate. The major constituent has been identified as a ceftriaxone-calcium salt.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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