Calcified and Non-Calcified Gallstones

Q:
What’s the difference between calcified and non-calcified gallstones?

A:
Gallbladder is a small organ on the right side of the abdomen. When the deposit of the digestive fluid in it (bile) hardens, it forms gallstones.

Gallstones can be grouped into 2 types: non-calcified and calcified. Non-calcified gallstones are more common than calcified ones. The difference between them is as follows.

Non-calcified gallstones consist of large amounts of cholesterol. They have nicknames like “floating stones” and “floaters”. With Ursodiol (a bile acid), non-calcified gallstones easily dissolve.

On the other hand, calcified gallstones are more complex.

  • They are made up of various concretions that typically occur in hollow structures and have smooth sharp margins.
  • When it comes to appearance, they look like hepatic granulomas, calcified lymphatic nodes, and appendicoliths.
  • Therefore, accurate diagnosis of calcified gallstones needs ultrasound, CT, and Biliary section examination.
  • As for treatment, Ursodiol is not useful. Instead, it needs cholecystectomy (surgical removal).

For more specific information, please consult your doctor.

 

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.