Usefulness of Ursodeoxycholic Acid in Management of Gallstone Disease in Children

Ivan Yankov


Objective − The aim of the study is to assess the usefulness of ursodeoxycholic acid in management of gallstone disease in children.

Materials and Methods − The prospective study aimed to assess the management of gallstone disease in children. We analyzed all new cases of cholelithiasis during the period from January 2016 to March 2020. Forty-eight new cases of cholelithiasis were enrolled in the study. The diagnosis was established by ultrasound examination due to different complaints in previously healthy patients, or during regular follow-up visits in patients with a chronic disease. A Student t-test, Fisher’s test and χ2-test were used
in the statistical processing, where appropriate.

Results − A 6-month course of treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid was conducted in 72.9% of cases (N=35). In 27.1% (N=13) of patients this treatment was not administered. Successful dissolution of gallstones was observed in 31.4% (N=11) of treated patients (N=35), over a period of 1 to 6 months. In the group of nontreated patients (N=13), successful dissolution of gallstones was achieved in 38.5% (N=5). Cholecystectomy was performed in 10.4% (N=5) patients, and 1 patient underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. No early complications, relapse or postcholecystectomy syndrome were observed in the 12-month follow-up period.

Conclusion − Management of cholelithiasis in children can often be a challenge. In a selected patient group, conservative treatment may be successful. Use of ursodeoxycholic acid can lead to dissolution of gallstones in patients with preceding dehydration. The effectiveness of ursodeoxycholic acid, except in children with dehydration, was higher


Pediatric Gallstone Disease; Ursodeoxycholic Acid; MRI - Cholangiography; Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound; Cholecystectomy

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