Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter


Cholelithiasis is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Emergency Central is a collection of disease, drug, and test information including 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult, Davis’s Drug, McGraw-Hill Medical’s Diagnosaurus®, Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, and MEDLINE Journals created for emergency medicine professionals. Explore these free sample topics:

Emergency Central

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --



  • Symptoms arise when gallstones pass through the cystic or common bile ducts leading to impedance of normal bile flow and gallbladder spasm.
  • Biliary dyskinesia produces symptoms identical to biliary colic in the absence of stones.
  • Choledocholithiasis (common bile duct stones), may lead to prolonged pain, elevated LFTs and bilirubin, and to more complications like cholangitis or pancreatitis.


  • Cholesterol stones:
    • Most common type of gallstone
    • Form when solubility exceeded
  • Pigment stones:
    • 20%
    • Composed of calcium bilirubinate
    • Associated with clinical conditions such as hemolytic anemias that lead to increased concentration of unconjugated bilirubin
  • Incidence increases with age and favors females to males 2:1. Other risk factors include Hispanic ethnicity, obesity, pregnancy, rapid weight loss, and drugs that induce biliary stasis (e.g., ceftriaxone and oral contraceptives).
  • Gallstones are exceedingly rare in childhood and are most commonly associated with sickle cell disease, hereditary spherocytosis, or other hemolytic anemias that result in pigment stone formation.
  • Biliary sludge:
    • Nonstone, crystalline, granular matrix
    • Associated with rapid weight loss, pregnancy, ceftriaxone or octreotide therapy, and organ transplantation
    • May develop symptoms identical to cholelithiasis and its complications
  • “Porcelain gallbladder” from mucosal precipitation of calcium salts owing to recurrent obstruction of cystic duct.

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --


Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Cholelithiasis." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307130/3.0/Cholelithiasis.
Cholelithiasis. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307130/3.0/Cholelithiasis. Accessed June 27, 2019.
Cholelithiasis. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307130/3.0/Cholelithiasis
Cholelithiasis [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 June 27]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307130/3.0/Cholelithiasis.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Cholelithiasis ID - 307130 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307130/3.0/Cholelithiasis PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -