Is it Necessary to Submit Grossly Normal Looking Gall Bladder Specimens for Histopathological Examination?

  • Published : 2015.03.09


Background: The objectives of the study were to: 1) determine the frequency of incidental malignancy in unsuspected/grossly normal looking gall bladders; 2) determine the frequency of malignancy in suspected/grossly abnormal looking gall bladders. Materials and Methods: This prospective, cross sectional study was carried out at a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan, during a four year period (Jan 2009-dec2012). All the cholecystectomy cases performed for gallstone diseases were examined initially by a surgeon and later on by a pathologist for macroscopic abnormalities and accordingly assigned to one of the three categories i.e. grossly normal, suspicious, abnormal/malignant. Frequency of incidental carcinoma in these categories was observed after receiving the final histopathology report. Results: A total of 426 patients underwent cholecystectomy for cholelithiasis, with a 1:4 male: female ratio. Mean age of the patients was 45 years with a range of 17-80 years. The frequency of incidental gallbladder carcinoma was found to be 0.70 %(n=3). All the cases of gallbladder carcinoma were associated with some macroscopic abnormality. Not a single case of incidental carcinoma gallbladder was diagnosed in 383 'macroscopically normal looking' gallbladders. Conclusions: Incidental finding of gall bladder cancer was not observed in any of macroscopically normal looking gall bladders and all the cases reported as carcinoma gallbladder had some gross abnormality that made them suspicious. We suggest histopathologic examination of only those gall bladders with some gross abnormality.


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