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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 Dec;28(12):1468-1472.

Gallstones in childhood: etiology, clinical features, and prognosis.

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Departments of aPediatrics bGeneral Surgery cPediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition dInfectious Disease and Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey.



The aim of this study was to determine demographic and clinical features in children diagnosed with gallstones, risk factors for gallstone formation, the effectiveness of ursodeoxycholic acid therapy, and the course of the disease.


Patients aged 0-18 years were followed up for at least 6 months after the diagnosis of gallstones with ultrasonography and were evaluated retrospectively. Patients were evaluated with respect to age, sex, presenting symptoms, BMI, facilitating factors, accompanying diseases, family history of gallstones, history of ceftriaxone use, laboratory tests, ultrasonography findings and follow-up, and therapeutic approaches and results.


The study was completed with 70 patients. Thirty-nine (55.7%) patients were females. The mean age of the patients was 9.3±5.29 (0.3-18) years. The mean age among females was statistically significantly higher than that among males (P=0.007).No risk factor for stone formation was encountered in 50% of cases, whereas a family history of gallstones was present in 17.1%. Use of ceftriaxone was present in 8.6% of cases, total parenteral nutrition in 10%, obesity in 5.7%, hereditary spherocytosis in 4.3%, and Down's syndrome in 4.3%. The probability of dissolution of stones was 3.6 times higher in patients with stone sizes up to 5 mm [odds ratio (OR): 3.65, P=0.020], 3.9 times higher in those aged younger than 2 years (OR: 3.92, P=0.021), and 13.9 times higher in those with a single stone (OR: 13.97, P=0.003).


Our findings show that unknown causes are still prevalent in stone formation and that ursodeoxycholic acid exerts no effect on stone dissolution; however, diagnosis at younger than 2 years of age, a single stone, and small size of stone are factors affecting dissolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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