Objective: This study is a descriptive analysis of the clinical presentations in which cholelithiasis was diagnosed on imaging over a five-year period at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Jamaica and how the clinical presentation varied with age and gender.
Method: A retrospective review was done of all cases of cholelithiasis recorded in the reports of the Radiology section during the period January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2006. Patients’ age and gender were noted. Each case was assigned to one of four clinical categories based on the clinical scenario at the time of referral for imaging: Acute abdomen-Incidental: (not referable to the biliary tract); Acute abdomen-Biliary (biliary colic/acute cholecystitis); Non-acute-Incidental: (not referable to the biliary tract) and Non-acute-Biliary (suspected cholelithiasis). The data were analyzed using post-hoc cross-tabulations, ANOVA, and post-hoc Tukey-tests.
Results: Three hundred and forty-four females and 137 males were diagnosed with cholelithiasis with the mean age at diagnosis being 49 and 50 years respectively. Females were diagnosed with cholelithiasis at higher rates in the context of acute abdominal symptoms both referable and unrelated to the biliary tract, while males were diagnosed at higher rates as an incidental finding in a non-acute presentation. There was no significant difference between the genders in the rate of diagnosis of cholelithiasis when this was suspected clinically in the non-acute setting.
Conclusion: More females were diagnosed with cholelithiasis. There was no gender-related difference in the mean age at which cholelithiasis was diagnosed. There were statistically significant differences between the genders in the rates at which cholelithiasis was identified in different clinical scenarios.