Rokitansky-Aschoff sinuses

Last revised by Dr Pir Abdul Ahad Aziz Qureshi on 01 Aug 2021

Rokitansky-Aschoff sinuses are diverticula of the gallbladder wall which may be microscopic or macroscopic. Histologically, they are outpouchings of gallbladder mucosa that sit within the gallbladder muscle layer.

Related pathology

They are not themselves considered abnormal but may be associated with cholecystitis and adenomyomatosis. Additionally, Rokitansky-Aschoff sinuses have been known to mimic gallbladder adenocarcinoma, however, are generally incidental findings 4.

History and etymology

The Rokitansky-Aschoff sinus is named after the two pathologists who initially discovered them:

  • Baron Karl Freiherr von Rokitansky (1804-1878), Czech pathologist in Vienna, Austria 5
  • Karl Albert Ludwig Aschoff  (1866-1942), pathologist in Bonn, Germany 5

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: adenomyomatsis
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  • Figure 2: histology
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  • Case 1: gallbladder dysfunction with Rokitansky-Aschoff sinuses
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  • Case 2: on MRI
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