GI Radiology > Biliary > Gallbladder > Neoplastic > Porcelain Gallbladder

Neoplastic Diseases of Gallbladder

Porcelain Gallbladder

  1. Pathogenesis:
  • Unknown etiology, most likely due to chronic gallbladder inflammation and gallstones. Women are most frequently affected.
  • Porcelain gallbladder refers to the calcification in the wall of the gallbladder. The metaphor refers to the brittle nature of the calcified wall.
  • Usually, the patient does not have many symptoms, and the case is discovered upon incidental radiograph or CT.
  • A patient with porcelain gallbladder almost always has gallstones along with cystic duct obstruction.
  • Calcification may occur within the muscular layer or within the glands of the gallbladder mucosa.
  • Calcification within the muscular layer is usually continuous and smooth.
  • 10 to 20% of all patients with porcelain gallbladder develop gallbladder cancer during their lifetime—prophylactic cholecystectomy is recommended.
  1. Radiographic findings:
  • Plain film: extensive calcification is apparent around the perimeter of the gallbladder.
  • U/S: bright, echogenic gallbladder wall with posterior shadowing in the gallbladder fossa.

  • CT: Calcification of the gallbladder wall (arrows), often accompanied by stones.

© Copyright Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia 2021