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Jüngst, Dieter; Lang, Thomas; Ritter, Christoph von and Paumgartner, Gustav (1991): Role of High total protein in gallbladder bile in the formation of cholesterol gallstones. In: Gastroenterology, Vol. 100, No. 6: pp. 1724-1729 [PDF, 6MB]

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While it is generally accepted that cholesterol supersaturation of bile is of key importance in the rapid formation of cholesterol crystals, the role of total biliary protein and pH in the pathogenesis of cholesterol gallstones is less well understood. The relation of cholesterol saturation, total protein, and pH was studied in 73 gallbladder bile samples with and 35 gallbladder bile samples without cholesterol crystals. In samples containing crystals, a trend to higher values of cholesterol and to a higher cholesterol saturation index was observed. However, significantly (P = 0.02) higher concentrations of total protein were found in samples with crystals [0.80 +/- 0.40 g/dL (8.0 +/- 4.0 g/L)] than in samples without crystals [0.63 +/- 0.26 g/dL (6.3 +/- 2.6 g/L)]. Moreover, of 22 bile samples with total protein concentrations greater than 10.0 g/L, cholesterol crystals were detected in all but 2. Total lipids, bile acids, phospholipids, and pH values were not significantly different in the two groups of bile samples. It was concluded that high biliary protein concentrations are frequently associated with cholesterol crystals and may, therefore, be a possible risk factor in the pathogenesis of cholesterol gallstones.

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