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August 1961

"Porcelain" Gallbladder Associated with Carcinoma of the Colon

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Dr. Davis) and Internal Medicine (Dr. Gait), Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital (associated with the University of Illinois School of Medicine).

Arch Surg. 1961;83(2):218-226. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300140060011

A review of the literature indicates that porcelain gallbladders constitute an unusual surgical finding in the abdomen. As early as 1844, in the London Medical Gazette, a case of ossification of the gallbladder was described by Allison.1 Four additional reports published late in the 19th Century deal with descriptions of calcification or ossification of the gallbladder.2-5 In 1923, Fowler6 suggested that calcification of the gallbladder is rarely encountered by the roentgenologist, the surgeon, or the pathologist.

In 1932, Phemister7 stated that calcification of the gallbladder wall, with or without associated ossification, is an occasional finding, particularly at autopsy, and represents an end stage of disease which alters the morphology of the gallbladder and completely destroys its function. He quotes Kaufman,8 who wrote that as the result of chronic catarrhal inflammation, sometimes without stones, the "thick, calloused, often entirely smooth wall of the gallbladder can calcify,