Fetal cholelithiasis

Fetal cholelithiasis refers to formation of gallstones in utero. 

There occurrence is thought to be relatively common and is estimated at 1 in 300 pregnancies. They are almost always seen in the 3rd trimester 1. There may be slightly greater male predilection 7.

Associations
  • haemolytic conditions of the newborn
  • maternal haemolytic anaemia(s)
Antenatal ultrasound

They may be seen as cluster of minute echogenic juxta-hepatic foci at the expected position of the gallbladder. Shadowing as well as comet tail artifacts may also be seen.

In the context of gallbladder sludge, the gallbladder may be diffusely echogenic. It may be sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish true sludge from multiple small stones 11.

In most cases, they are not thought to be of much concern with most resolving within the 1st year of life. 

For calcific foci closely abutting the liver consider

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Article Information

rID: 13759
System: Obstetrics
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Fetal gallstones
  • Fetal gallbladder sludge

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