Pain Provocation and Low Gallbladder Ejection Fraction with CCK Cholescintigraphy Are Not Predictive of Chronic Acalculous Gallbladder Disease Symptom Relief After Cholecystectomy

Michael A. Edwards, Benjamin Mullenbach, Sherman M Chamberlain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Chronic acalculous gallbladder disease (CAGD) falls within the spectrum of diseases associated with gallbladder dysmotility. Cholecystokinin-cholescintigraphy (CCK-CS) has been used to evaluate for CAGD, with a gallbladder ejection fraction (GBEF) of <35 % being indicative of gallbladder dysfunction. The reproduction of biliary colic upon administration of CCK has been cited as indicative of CAGD. Our purpose was to determine whether low GBEF or reproduction of pain during CCK-CS was predictor of surgical outcomes related to resolution of symptoms or as a correlate to gallbladder pathology. Methods: A retrospective review of patients was performed to evaluate adults with a diagnosis of CAGD who underwent CCK-CS prior to surgical intervention. CPT and ICD-9 coding queries were used to identify the patient population. Patients with cholelithiasis were excluded. Results: Sixty-four patients met inclusion criteria. Two patients were lost to follow-up and were excluded. During CCK-CS, 41 patients (66 %) reported symptoms similar to their presenting complaint. Twenty-one patients reported no symptoms with CCK-CS. There was no significant relationship between gallbladder pathology and either GBEF or reproduction of symptoms with CCK-CS (p = 0.14). About 81 % of patients (n = 50) had relief of symptoms following cholecystectomy. Sixty-six percentage of patients (n = 33) with long-term symptom relief after cholecystectomy had reproduction of symptoms with CCK-CS. Nineteen percentage of all patients (n = 12) had long-term symptom recurrence despite surgery. Eight of these patients (66 %) had symptom reproduction with CCK-CS. There was no significant correlation with either the GBEF or symptoms reproduction with CCK-CS as a predictor of postoperative outcome (p = 0.12). Conclusion: Provocation of pain by CCK-CS and low GBEF are unreliable predictors of postoperative relief of symptoms following cholecystectomy for biliary dyskinesia or chronic acalculous gallbladder disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2773-2778
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 18 2014



  • Biliary dyskinesia
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Cholecystokinin-cholescintigraphy
  • Chronic acalculous gallbladder disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology

Cite this