Gastroenterology clinic

Gallstone disease and bile duct disorders

Farzan Fahrtash-Bahin, Eric Y Lee



An algorithmic approach to early recognition and treatment can minimise the potentially serious complications of gallstone disease.

Article Extract

  • Cholelithiasis (one or more gallstones within the gallbladder) is present in 15% of people over 50 years of age, and most patients with an incidental finding of gallstones have no symptoms.
  • Complications of cholelithiasis include:
    – biliary colic (about 20% of patients)
    – acute calculous cholecystitis (3% per annum)
    – choledocholithiasis (one or more gallstones within the bile duct; 1 to 2% per annum)
    – ascending cholangitis
    – acute gallstone pancreatitis (0.5% per annum)
    – gallbladder carcinoma (0.5 to 3% lifetime risk).