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The incidence of gallstones and gallbladder sludge is higher in patients after total gastrectomy than in general population. Formation of gallstones after gastrectomy is multifactorial. Here, we investigate the changes in gallbladder and biliary tract functions by cholescintygraphy and monitored changes in cholecystokinin (CCK) release in long-term survivors after total gastrectomy for gastric carcinoma. Patients had undergone total gastrectomy for gastric carcinoma at least five years ago. The final study population consisted of 25 patients. Eight patients had undergone cholecystectomy before or at the time of gastrectomy. Gallstone formation was observed in seven of the remaining 17 patients during follow-up (41%). Maximum uptake of radioactivity and gallbladder maximum uptake was significantly delayed in the gastrectomy group than in the control group. There was no significant difference in CCK levels after the overnight fasting and at 60 minutes after stimulation among patients with or without stones in situ compared with healthy volunteers, but 30 minutes after the energy-rich drink patients had higher CCK levels than the control group. In gastrectomy patients, technetium isotope visualisation of the gallbladder and time for maximum activity was significantly delayed. This may indicate impaired gallbladder function. On the contrary, CCK release was not impaired.


Tuula Tyrväinen, Isto Nordback, Jyri Toikka, Anneli Piiroinen, Karl-Heinz Herzig, Kari Mäkelä, Juhani Sand. Impaired gallbladder function in patients after total gastrectomy. Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology. 2017 Mar;52(3):334-337

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PMID: 27881023

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