Tumefactive Gallbladder Sludge at US: Prevalence and Clinical Importance.


Purpose To evaluate the prevalence of tumefactive sludge of the gallbladder detected at ultrasonography (US) and to assess whether any clinical and imaging differences exist between benign and malignant tumefactive sludge. Materials and Methods The institutional review board approved this retrospective study. The requirement for informed consent was waived. The study included a cohort (n = 6898) of patients with gallbladder sludge drawn from all adults (n = 115 178) who underwent abdominal US between March 2001 and March 2015. Tumefactive sludge was identified according to the following US findings: (a) nonmovable mass-like lesion and (b) absence of posterior acoustic shadowing at B-mode US and vascularity at color Doppler US. Follow-up examinations were arranged to ascertain whether the results showed true sludge or gallbladder cancer. Risk factors for malignant tumefactive sludge based on clinical and US characteristics were identified with multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results The prevalence of gallbladder and tumefactive sludge at abdominal US during the observation period was 6.0% (6898 of 115 178) and 0.1% (135 of 115 178), respectively. Twenty-eight (20.7%) patients were lost to follow-up. Of the 107 with tumefactive sludge, 15 (14%) were confirmed to have malignant tumefactive sludge. The risk factors for malignant tumefactive sludge were old age (odds ratio [OR], 1.06; P = .035), female sex (OR, 5.48; P = .014), and absence of hyperechoic spots within the sludge (OR, 6.78; P = .008). Conclusion Although the prevalence of tumefactive sludge at US was rare, a considerable proportion of patients had a malignancy. Careful follow-up is essential, especially for older patients, women, and those with an absence of hyperechoic spots at US. © RSNA, 2016 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2016161042

Cite this paper

@article{Kim2017TumefactiveGS, title={Tumefactive Gallbladder Sludge at US: Prevalence and Clinical Importance.}, author={Mimi Y. Kim and Tae Wook Kang and Kyung Mi Jang and Young Kon Kim and Seong Keun Kim and Sang Yun Ha and Dong Hyun Sinn and Seonhye Gu}, journal={Radiology}, year={2017}, volume={283 2}, pages={570-579} }