Prevalence of low phospholipid-associated cholelithiasis in young female patients

Bertrand Condat, David Zanditenas, Véronique Barbu, Marie-Pierre Hauuy, Béatrice Parfait, Ahmed El Naggar, Véronique Collot, Joélle Bonnet, Yann Ngo, Anware Maftouh, Laurent Dugué, Chant Balian, Alain Charlier, Martine Blazquez, Olivier Rosmorduc
Digestive and Liver Disease 2013, 45 (11): 915-9

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: We evaluated the prevalence of low phospholipid-associated cholelithiasis, a specific form of cholelithiasis associated with at least 2 of the 3 following criteria: first symptoms before the age of 40; intrahepatic comet tail artefacts, sludge or microlithiasis on ultrasound imaging; and recurrence of symptoms after cholecystectomy.

METHODS: We prospectively studied the cases of 60 consecutive female patients under 30 with symptomatic cholelithiasis.

RESULTS: A diagnosis of low phospholipid-associated cholelithiasis was made in 14/60 patients (23%). The molecular analysis showed ABCB4 (n=4) and ABCB11 (n=4) gene mutations. Low phospholipid-associated cholelithiasis was frequently observed in non-overweight patients [13/27 (48%)], was present in most patients whose biliary symptoms occurred before the age of 18 [7/10 (70%)] and was often associated with cholangitis or acute pancreatitis [9/14 (64%), p<0.05] while "common" cholelithiasis was mainly associated with cholecystitis [16/46 (35%), p<0.05].

CONCLUSION: Nearly one quarter of the female patients under the age of 30 admitted for symptomatic cholelithiasis had low phospholipid-associated cholelithiasis; particularly if body weight was normal, the symptoms began before the age of 18 or in the presence of severe biliary complications.

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