Monday, 2 December 2013

Gallstone - The Symptoms

A gallstone formed within the gallbladder as a result of changes in bile acid (BA) metabolism and gallbladder function are critical factors in the pathogenesis of gallstones. Gallstones can cause blockage the flow of bile through the bile ducts that can lead to inflammatory causes of  acute cholecystitis. Gallstones are most common among older adults, women, overweight people, etc.

A. Symptoms  
A.1. Common symptoms

1. Upper gastrointestinal bleeding if ruptured
There is a report of a 67-year-old gentleman with no significant medical history of note presented with sudden onset of epigastric pain, coffee ground vomiting and passing black tarry stool. The diagnosis of gallstone-induced auto-sphincterotomy was only made, using gastroscope via jejunostomy, when a big gallstone was found in the third part of the duodenum and the papilla was ruptured(1).

2. Right upper quadrant or midline epigastric pain
In a  multicenter study was carried out with patients randomized to either surgery or conservative, expectant treatment to examine optimal treatment and natural history in well-defined groups of symptomatic gallbladder stone disease with pain, episodes only (study group 1) or acute cholecystitis (study group 2). The patients were between 18 and 80 years of age and had right upper quadrant or midline epigastric pain and ultrasonographic evidence of gallbladder stone, with or without acute cholecystitis(2).

3. Abdominal pain
Gallstones are relatively rare in children. At-risk populations include patients suffering from hemolysis syndromes. Regardless of etiology, these patients usually will present with postprandial abdominal pain, and ultrasonography is the mainstay of diagnosis. However, some gallstones are radiopaque and can be visualized on plain abdominal radiography(3).

4. Other symptoms
In the study to evaluated the association between gallstones and abdominal symptoms, comparing two different study designs, researchers at the Maastricht University, showed that Gallstones were associated with mid upper abdominal pain in the screening study, and with mid upper abdominal pain, biliary pain, and colic (each independently) in the clinical study. When these symptoms were absent (and only dyspeptic symptoms or food intolerance was present), gallstones were not more common than expected from the general population prevalence (estimated from the screening study)(4).

5. Etc. 

A.2. Symptoms of severe case, include
1. Fever
2. Nausea and vomiting
3. Prolonged period of pain
4. Jaundice
5. Clay-colored stools
6. Etc.
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