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January 1991

Gallstones in Children: Characterization by Age, Etiology, and Outcome

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition and Colucci Memorial Liver Research Center, Children's Hospital of Buffalo (NY) (Dr Reif); the Department of Pediatrics, St John's Mercy Medical Center, St Louis, Mo (Dr Sloven); and the Department of Pediatrics, Hahnemann School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa (Dr Lebenthal).

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(1):105-108. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160010111028

• Fifty children and adolescents were found to have gallstones at Children's Hospital of Buffalo (NY) during a period of 10 years. The mean (±SD) age was 12.2 ± 6.2 years, with 21 boys and 29 girls. The majority of patients could be categorized into four groups: hemolytic disease (18 patients), parenteral nutrition (eight patients), adolescent pregnancy (seven patients), and idiopathic (10 patients), while seven patients had a variety of other etiologies. Right upper quadrant pain was the most common symptom (32 patients), followed by jaundice (15 patients), vomiting (13 patients), and nonspecific abdominal complaints (13 patients). Ten patients presented with jaundice and underlying hemolytic disease; seven patients were asymptomatic. Clinical presentation was found to vary with age and factors associated with the development of gallstones. Ultrasonography was the mode of diagnosis in 48 patients. Cholecystectomy was performed in 36 patients. In contrast to gallstones in adults, after exclusion of the patients with adolescent pregnancy, there was no female predominance. Pancreatitis was the most common complication, occurring in 8% of the patients; cholecystitis and cholangitis were absent.

(AJDC. 1991;145:105-108)

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