Aetiology of cholelithiasis in childhood.


During the past 10 years case reports of cholelithiasis in childhood and adolescence have appeared fairly regularly and 24 cases under the age of 14 have been described in the English literature during this period. Though stated as being 'infrequent in early life' (Rapoport, 1954), most paediatricians must occasionally have found gall bladder disease to be the cause of hitherto unexplained abdominal pain. Since 1940, nine cases of proved gall stones have been seen at The Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London. Stones are often associated with haemolytic anaemia, and two of the nine cases were found in association with erythroblastosis foetalis and have been reported by Lightwood and Bodian (1946). Three were found among 42 cases of classical acholuric jaundice, the biliary tracts having been examined in most of the 31 in which splenectomy was performed. Multiple stones were found in one girl who had a history of neonatal sepsis and in whom cavernomatous malformation of the portal vein with portal hypertension was found at the age of 7 years. There is less awareness of the possibility of stones occurring in the absence of these conditions and, for this reason, the remaining three cases of gall stones of unusual aetiology are described in detail. The records of 100 random cases of all types of haemolytic anaemia, representing most of the cases seen in this hospital since 1940, have been examined. The relative importance of haemolysis, infection and other aetiological factors is reviewed. The significance of pain as a symptom of gall bladder disease and the absence of splenomegaly in these cases is discussed. Case Reports

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@article{Walker1957AetiologyOC, title={Aetiology of cholelithiasis in childhood.}, author={Colin H. M. Walker}, journal={Archives of disease in childhood}, year={1957}, volume={32 164}, pages={293-7} }