Hepatisation of the gallbladder is a sonographic entity in which the gallbladder lumen is entirely filled with tumefactive sludge giving the gallbladder a similar appearance to liver parenchyma. It is one of the causes of non-visualisation of the gallbladder on sonography.
In the setting of cholelithiasis, the presence of calculi in the neck of gallbladder leads to excessive accumulation of sludge, resulting in increased echogenicity of the gallbladder, which resembles the echogenicity of the liver.
Hepatisation of the gallbladder can be easily differentiated from normal liver parenchyma as it demonstrates absent colour flow on colour Doppler interrogation.
- 1. Reinig JW, Stanley JH. Sonographic hepatization of the gallbladder: a cause of nonvisualization of the gallbladder by cholecystosonography. J Clin Ultrasound. 1984;12 (4): 234-6. Pubmed citation
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
- variants and anomalies