- Volume 23 Issue 2
Carcinoma of the gallbladder is an uncommon but highly malignant tumor with a poor five year survival rate. Early detection is very important for successful treatment because this tumor is very hard to cure in cases where it has advanced beyond the reach of surgical treatment. The purpose of this review was to evaluate risk factors for carcinoma of the gallbladder and determine the best management approach.. Solitary polys, more than one cm are considered to be predisposing factors for gallbladder carcinoma when they are found to be echopenic, sessile, and with a high cell density. Anomalous union of the pacreato-biliary duct(AUPBD) without a choledochal cyst is also considered to increase risk for gallbladder carcinoma. A polyps size of more than one cm and an AUPBD are indications for prophylactic cholecystectomy. The presence of gallstones is a well-established risk factor for the development of gallbladder carcinoma; risk appears to correlate with the stone size and the duration of chronic cholecystitis. Metaplastic changes of the gallbladder epithelium present with chronic cholecystitis and may indicate a premalignant lesion. Abnormal forms of cholecystitis such as xanthogranulomatous or a porcelain gallbladder also have malignant potential; cholecystoenteric fistula as well as bacterial infection of the gallbladder(typhoid, helicobacter species) also has malignant potential. In this review, the risk factors associated with carcinoma of the gallbladder are summarized with special attention to gallstones, polyps, AUPBD, and chronic inflammation.