Background/Aims: Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) with adjuvant bile salt dissolution therapy may be successful in selected gallstone patients, but the considerable risk of recurrence is a major drawback. Apolipoprotein E4 genotype and impaired gallbladder motility have been identified as major risk factors for recurrence during short-term follow up. We have now examined their relevance during long-term follow up. Methods: Eighty-four cholesterol gallstone patients (55 solitary and 29 multiple (two to ten) stones) were followed prospectively up to 10 years after complete stone disappearance. Various potential risk factors for recurrence were evaluated. Results: Gallstone recurrence was found in up to 80% of patients at 10 years follow-up. Absence of the apolipoprotein ε4 allele, initial solitary stones, good gallbladder emptying (i.e. minimal postprandial volume ≤6 ml) and 2-year postdissolution ursodeoxycholic acid prophylaxis (in ten patients) all delayed but did not prevent recurrence. In contrast, regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was identified as an independent protective factor, with greatly decreased recurrence (at 10 years: 58 vs 93% in non-NSAID users, P = 0.03). Conclusions: Non-apolipoprotein E4 genotype, presence of solitary stones and good gallbladder emptying delay rather than prevent recurrence after initially successful ESWL. Regular use of NSAIDs may prevent recurrence.

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Journal of Hepatology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Venneman, N.G, VanBerge-Henegouwen, G.P, Portincasa, P, Stolk, M, Vos, A.M.C, Plaisier, P.W, & van Erpecum, K.J. (2001). Absence of apolipoprotein E4 genotype, good gallbladder motility and presence of solitary stones delay rather than prevent gallstone recurrence after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. Journal of Hepatology, 35(1), 10–16. doi:10.1016/S0168-8278(01)00093-9