Since radiographic findings on oral cholecystography (OCG) have implications for the eligibility for nonsurgical therapy of elderly patients, we investigated the OCGs of 448 symptomatic gallstone patients (109 male, 339 female; mean age, 49.8 ± 14 (range, 21–88)). Opacification of the gallbladder was found in 323 cases (72.1%). Calcifications of gallstones were found in 85 opacified gallbladders (26.3%). Solitary and multiple stones were calcified in 35.3% and 18.2%, respectively (P < 0.0005). When divided into two groups (≤40 years and >40 years), there was a significant increase in calcifications (P < 0.02) and a non-significant increase in opacification with increasing age. It is concluded that age is a determinant for calcification of gallstones and not opacification of the gallbladder. Since multiple stones are proportionately observed more in clinical studies than in epidemiologic studies, it is suggested that multiplicity of stones predisposes to biliary complaints. That solitary stones are more likely to be calcified than multiple stones, adds to the hypothesis that solitary and multiple stones have a different pathogenesis. Elderly patients, in whom nonsurgical therapy is most likely to be indicated and cost-effective, are less likely to be suitable for this form of treatment, since age is a determinant for stone calcification.

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European Journal of Radiology
Department of Surgery

Plaisier, P. W., Brakel, K., van der Hul, R., & Bruining, H. (1994). Radiographic features of oral cholecystograms of 448 symptomatic gallstone patients: Implications for nonsurgical therapy. European Journal of Radiology, 18(1), 57–60. doi:10.1016/0720-048X(94)90368-9