Probability of developing gallstones and related risk factors in 400 cirrhotics

D. Conte, M. Fraquelli, C. Mandelli, M. Braga, P. Casarin, P. Bodini, G. P. Aimo, M. Borzio, D. Barisani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To estimate the cumulative probability of developing gallstones and to evaluate possible risk factors in a large series of Italian cirrhotic patients, free of gallstones at enrolment. Setting: Gastroenterology unit at a Milan teaching hospital and four general hospitals in northern Italy. Patients: The study included 400 consecutive cirrhotic patients (257 men and 143 women, mean age 58 ± 10 SD and 61 ± 10 SD years, respectively). Cirrhosis was due to alcohol abuse (n = 169), chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (n = 31) or non-A, non-B hepatitis virus (NANBV; n = 107, including 75 positive for anti-hepatitis C virus), concomitant chronic hepatitis B virus or NANBV infection and alcohol abuse (n = 50), and miscellaneous causes (n = 43). At enrolment, 231 patients were classified as having Child's class A cirrhosis, 130 as B and 39 as C. Statistical analysis: The cumulative probability of developing gallstones was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method and possible risk factors evaluated by logistic regression analysis. Results: During a median follow-up of 48 months (range 12 to 132 months), ultrasonography demonstrated the development of gallstones in 94 patients (23.5%, 53 men and 41 women), who were all informed of the finding. The proportion of symptomatic patients was 10% at diagnosis, whereas 16.2% manifested gallstone-related symptoms during follow-up. Cholecystectomy was carried out in three patients. The cumulative probability of gallstone development was 15 and 38% at 4 and 8 years, respectively. On logistic regression analysis, high body mass index, female gender and severity of liver disease were significantly associated with a higher risk of cholelithiasis. Conclusion: This longitudinal study provides further evidence of the clinical importance of gallstones in cirrhosis, already demonstrated in prevalence studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-58
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Cirrhosis
  • Gallstones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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