Gallbladder wall cholesterolosis is a type of cholecystosis, therefore, results from the accumulation of cholesterol esters and triglycerides in the macrophages within the gallbladder wall (cf. adenomyomatosis, where cholesterol accumulation is intraluminal). It is a benign condition that may occur in two forms:
- diffuse: strawberry gallbladder
Although not clearly established if a form of localized cholesterolosis, cholesterol polyps represent a different spectrum of the same disease.
Its prevalence may range around 4-8% and there may be a male predilection 1.
Usually clinically silent, with most patients being asymptomatic.
It is characterized by mucosal villous hyperplasia with excessive accumulation of cholesterol esters within epithelial macrophages. Please refer to the article on strawberry gallbladder for further details in the diffuse form of the condition.
Treatment and prognosis
The natural history, in general, is benign.
- 1. Sandri L, Colecchia A, Larocca A, Vestito A, Capodicasa S, Azzaroli F, Mazzella G, Mwangemi C, Roda E, Festi D. Gallbladder cholesterol polyps and cholesterolosis. Minerva gastroenterologica e dietologica. 49 (3): 217-24. Pubmed
- 2. Owen CC, Bilhartz LE. Gallbladder polyps, cholesterolosis, adenomyomatosis, and acute acalculous cholecystitis. Seminars in gastrointestinal disease. 14 (4): 178-88. Pubmed
- 3. Parrilla Paricio P, García Olmo D, Pellicer Franco E, Prieto González A, Carrasco González L, Bermejo López J. Gallbladder cholesterolosis: an aetiological factor in acute pancreatitis of uncertain origin. The British journal of surgery. 77 (7): 735-6. Pubmed
- 4. Dairi S, Demeusy A, Sill AM, Patel ST, Kowdley GC, Cunningham SC. Implications of gallbladder cholesterolosis and cholesterol polyps?. The Journal of surgical research. 200 (2): 467-72. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2015.08.037 - Pubmed
- 5. Méndez-Sánchez N, Tanimoto MA, Cobos E, Roldán-Valadez E, Uribe M. Cholesterolosis is not associated with high cholesterol levels in patients with and without gallstone disease. Journal of clinical gastroenterology. 25 (3): 518-21. Pubmed
- 6. Khairy GA, Guraya SY, Murshid KR. Cholesterolosis. Incidence, correlation with serum cholesterol level and the role of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Saudi medical journal. 25 (9): 1226-8. Pubmed
Related Radiopaedia articles
Ultrasound - gallbladder
- ultrasound (introduction)
- gallbladder ultrasound
- diffuse gallbladder wall thickening (differential)
- focal gallbladder wall thickening (differential)
- gallbladder sludge
- acute cholecystitis
- chronic cholecystitis
- gallbladder polyp
- gallbladder cholecystoses
- porcelain gallbladder
- gallbladder carcinoma
- gallbladder metastases
- gallbladder lymphoma
- gallbladder volvulus / torsion