Recurrence of gallstones after cholecystectomy is associated with ABCG5/8 genotype

Witigo von Schönfels, Stephan Buch, Maren Wölk, Heiko Aselmann, Jan H Egberts, Stefan Schreiber, Michael Krawczak, Thomas Becker, Jochen Hampe, Clemens Schafmayer
Journal of Gastroenterology 2013, 48 (3): 391-6

BACKGROUND: Gallstone disease is a frequent and economically highly relevant disorder, with cholecystectomy representing one of the most frequently performed operations world-wide. Gallstone recurrence after cholecystectomy is associated with complications such as biliary sepsis and pancreatitis. As yet, variant ABCG8-D19H is the most widely recognized genetic risk factor for gallstone disease. The aim of the study is to investigate whether ABCG8-D19H is associated with gallstone recurrence after cholecystectomy.

METHODS: Two thousand three hundred and eight patients from an earlier study of gallstone risk factors were re-contacted by mail, leading to 1,915 patients with available clinical and genetic information. Symptomatic gallstone recurrence was established if it occurred more than six months after surgery. Median follow-up time after cholecystectomy was eight years.

RESULTS: Gallstones recurred in 37 patients (1.9%). ABCG-D19H was found to be significantly associated with gallstone recurrence (p = 0.034). The allelic odds ratio was 1.97 (95% CI 1.12-∞). In a multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, BMI and type of surgery, ABCG8-D19H remained a significant predictor, both in the total cohort (p = 0.024) and in the subgroup for whom information on type and scheduling of surgery was available (N = 1,650, p = 0.020).

CONCLUSIONS: ABCG8-D19H is a predictor of gallstone recurrence, a major long term postoperative biliary complication. Moreover, the observed association also reemphasizes the importance of the sterolin transporter for stone formation.

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