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Ultrasound Detected Asymptomatic Cholelithiasis: An Age-based Protocol for Management

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Objective: This study was undertaken to examine the correlation between age and gender and the presence of ultrasound findings of acute or chronic cholecystitis in adult patients with cholelithiasis.
Method: The demographic data of all patients diagnosed with cholelithiasis and cholecystitis on ultrasound between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2006 were reviewed and statistically analysed.
Results: Five hundred adults, 373 females (74.6%) and 127 males (25.4%), were diagnosed with cholelithiasis during the five-year period. Ages ranged from 18 to 94 years with a median age of 47 years. The diagnosis for cholecystitis was equivocal in 11 patients. Of the remaining 489, 22.1% (108) were diagnosed as positive for cholecystitis by ultrasound, the remaining 77.9% (381) being negative. No association was found between gender and cholecysytitis in bivariate analysis, (χ2 = 1.82, df =1, p = 0.177). A statistically significant relation was found between age group category and ultrasound-determined cholecystitis status (χ2 = 32.58, df = 4, p < 0.001). Higher proportions of persons in the 20−39-year (40.9%) and 40−59-year (20.4%) age groups had cholecystitis on ultrasound examination compared to other age categories where corresponding rates were approximately 11% or less.
Conclusion: Patients 60 years or older who were diagnosed with cholelithiasis on ultrasound examination were less likely to have cholecystitis than younger patients.

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e-Published: 21 Feb, 2013

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