Miscellaneous nontumor

Author: Jian-Hua Qiao, M.D., FCAP (see Authors page)

Revised: 5 February 2018, last major update April 2017

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: gallbladder angiodysplasia

Cite this page: Qiao, J.H. Angiodysplasia. website. Accessed March 23rd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Angiodysplasia is a term describing distinct gastrointestinal mucosal vascular ectasias which are not associated with:
    • Cutaneous lesions
    • Systemic vascular disease or
    • Familial syndrome
Essential features
  • Angiodysplasia of the gallbladder is extremely rare
  • Pathogenesis of angiodysplasia of the gallbladder is unknown
  • It is usually an incidental finding on histopathological examination of the excised gallbladder
  • It is usually asymptomatic but has the potential to bleed
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a definitive cure
  • Vascular ectasia
  • Angiodysplasia of the gallbladder occurs in a wide age range (30s - 70s), in both men and women
  • Proposed etiology similar to colonic vascular ectasia
  • Likely due to gallbladder distention and contraction, causing intermittent obstruction of blood vessels
  • Obstruction subsequently leads to dilatation and tortuosity of the vessels
Clinical features
  • Usually asymptomatic
  • Incidental finding during histologic examination of excised gallbladder
Case reports
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is curative
Gross description
  • Distended gallbladder with gallstones
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Gallbladder mucosal ulceration
  • Dilated mucosal capillary sized vessels
  • Disorganized dilated veins
  • Thick arteries in muscularis propria
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Gallbladder mucosa: surface
denudation / ulceration
is present

Gallbladder mucosa with
multiple dilated vessels
in lamina propria

Widened mucosal folds
with dilated vessels in
lamina propria

Disorganized veins and
arteries in muscularis

Board review question #1
Correct statements of angiodysplasia of gallbladder include:
  1. Angiodysplasia of the gallbladder is extremely rare.
  2. Angiodysplasia of the gallbladder is usually asymptomatic.
  3. The pathogenesis of angiodysplasia of the gallbladder is unknown.
  4. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is usually curative.

Which of the above statements are true?
  1. 1, 2, 3
  2. 1, 3
  3. 2, 4
  4. All of the above
Board review answer #1
D. All of the above.