Prenatal and accurate perinatal diagnosis of type 2 H or ductular duplicate gallbladder

Umberto Maggi, Giorgio Farris, Alessandra Carnevali, Irene Borzani, Paola Clerici, Massimo Agosti, Giorgio Rossi, Ernesto Leva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Double gallbladder is a rare biliary anomaly. Perinatal diagnosis of the disorder has been reported in only 6 cases, and in 5 of them the diagnosis was based on ultrasound imaging only. However, the ultrasound technique alone does not provide a sufficiently precise description of cystic ducts and biliary anatomy, an information that is crucial for a correct classification and for a possible future surgery. Case presentation: At 21 weeks of gestational age of an uneventful pregnancy in a 38 year old primipara mother, a routine ultrasound screening detected a biliary anomaly in the fetus suggestive of a double gallbladder. A neonatal abdominal ultrasonography performed on postnatal day 2 confirmed the diagnosis. On day 12 the newborn underwent a Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) that clearly characterized the anatomy of the anomaly: both gallbladders had their own cystic duct and both had a separate insertion in the main biliary duct. Conclusions: We report a case of early prenatal suspected duplicate gallbladder that was confirmed by a neonatal precise diagnosis of a Type 2, H or ductular duplicate gallbladder, using for the first time 3D images of Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography in a newborn. An accurate anatomical diagnosis is mandatory in patients undergoing a possible future cholecystectomy, to avoid surgical complications or reoperations. Therefore, in case of a perinatal suspicion of a double gallbladder, neonates should undergo a Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. A review of the Literature about this variant is included.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 7 2018



  • Boyden classification
  • Cholangiopancreatography
  • Fetal sonography
  • Gallbladder duplication
  • Gallbladder/abnormalities
  • Gallbladder/diagnostic imaging
  • H-type cystic duct duplication
  • Infant
  • Magnetic resonance
  • MRCP
  • Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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