Korean J Gastrointest Endosc.  2005 Jan;30(1):12-18.

Endosonographic Findings Useful in the Differentiation between Malignant and Benign Causes of Thickened Gallbladder Wall

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sklee@www.amc.seoul.kr
  • 2Department of Pathology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The early diagnosis of possible cancer in thickened gallbladder wall is very important. This study was aimed to confirm the usefulness of endoscopic ultrasonography in differential diagnosis of gallbladder cancer in thickened gallbladder wall, and to find out the findings of endoscopic ultrasonography which favor malignancy.
We reviewed 67 cases of patients who underwent cholecystectomies and who also showed thickened gallbladder wall in their preoperative endoscopic ultrasonography. According to the post-surgical pathologic diagnosis, the cases were classified into malignant and benign diseases, and they were statistically compared with several findings of endoscopic ultrasonography of thickened gallbladder wall.
Pathologic diagnosis included 10 cancers and 57 benign diseases. The sensitivity (90%) and specificity (98%) of endoscopic ultrasonography for diagnosis of gallbladder cancer were superior to those of other techniques. Wall thickness, associations of gallstones, loss or preservation of layered structure and irregularity of inner surface of thickened wall were significant variables in the differential diagnosis between malignant and benign causes of thickened gallbladder wall (p<0.05).
Endoscopic ultrasonography is useful to diagnose gallbladder cancer within thickened wall. Loss of layered structure and irregular inner surface of thickened wall are independent predictive factor of gallbladder cancer.


Thickened gallbladder wall; Endoscopic ultrasonography
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