The prevalence of gallstones in adults of industrialized countries is approximately 10% and is showing a tendency to rise. Data for pediatric patients is scarce.
A research article published on March 14, 2008, in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this problem. The team lead by Dr. Denise Herzog from Sainte Justine Hospital, University of Montreal, Canada, has reviewed the rate of gallstone disease and its mode of presentation in pediatric patients requiring abdominal ultrasound at Sainte Justine Hospital between 2003 and 2005.
According to their results, idiopathic gallstone disease and complicated disease presentation were much more frequent than expected from previous studies, and it presented as complicated disease in 58% of patients, especially in adolescent girls.
The authors recommend that pediatricians become more aware of this disease, which until now was associated with adult patients only. In the light of the recent detection of the human Lith gene ABCG5/G8 and its association with the risk of cholesterol gallstone formation, the value of genetic evaluations of such families in order to prevent complicated disease presentation should be discussed. Further epidemiological data is required to decide whether genetic screening of families will help to prevent complicated disease presentation.
|Contact: Jing Zhu|
World Journal of Gastroenterology