Article

Mast cell activation and clinical outcome in pediatric cholelithiasis and biliary dyskinesia.

Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Mercy Hospital, 2401 Gillham Rd,, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. .
BMC Research Notes 09/2011; 4:322. DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-322
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The current study was undertaken to determine the degree of activation of gallbladder mucosal mast cells, whether mast cell (MC) density or activation differ between patients with and without a positive clinical response to cholecystectomy, and whether either density or activation correlate with gallbladder emptying.
Fifteen biliary dyskinesia (BD) and 13 symptomatic cholelithiasis (CL) patients undergoing cholecystectomy were prospectively enrolled. Gallbladder wall MC density (by immunohistochemistry) and activation (by electron microscopy) were determined. Clinical response was evaluated 30 days post-cholecystectomy on a 5-point Likert-type scale. A complete or nearly complete clinical response was seen in 100% of CL and in 87% of BD patients. The overall degranulation indices were 49.4 ± 18.7% for CL patients and 44.2 ± 16.8% for BD patients. Neither MC density nor activation correlated with the gallbladder ejection fraction. A complete clinical response was associated with lower epithelial MC density.
Cholecystectomy is efficacious in relieving pain in both CL and BD patients. BD and CL are associated not only with increased MC density but a moderate to high degree of MC activation. A possible relationship between MC density and outcome for BD warrants further investigation.

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    ABSTRACT: Biliary dyskinesia (BD) is a diagnosis that is being made increasingly in children. It is defined by abdominal pain thought to be biliary in nature based on location and character; a completely normal gallbladder on imaging tests, typically ultrasound; and decreased gallbladder contraction in response to a pharmacological stimulus. Unlike other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) that are treated with medications, behavioral therapy, and/or dietary modification, current clinical practice has accepted cholecystectomy as the treatment of choice for BD, which now accounts for up to 50% of cholecystectomies in children. Although well-designed trials are missing, accumulating evidence argues against such an approach. First, BD is by definition a benign disorder without risk of truly relevant complications. Second, despite reportedly high rates of satisfaction with postoperative outcomes, most children continue to experience symptoms. Lastly, limited long-term studies have demonstrated comparable benefit of operative and conservative therapy. To summarize, BD should be seen as a more localized manifestation of functional abdominal pain, which may improve over time independent of the type of therapy chosen. Despite the widespread adoption of minimally invasive surgery in pediatrics, a different risk-benefit ratio favors conservative treatment for this benign disorder.
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