Gallbladder & extrahepatic bile ducts

Gallbladder nonneoplastic


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Last staff update: 14 June 2022

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PubMed Search: gallbladder angiodysplasia

Jian-Hua Qiao, M.D.
Page views in 2021: 3,587
Page views in 2022 to date: 1,933
Cite this page: Qiao JH. Angiodysplasia. website. Accessed July 3rd, 2022.
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

Contributed by Jian-Hua Qiao, M.D.

Surface denudation / ulceration

Multiple dilated vessels in lamina propria

Widened mucosal folds

Disorganized veins and arteries

Board review style 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 style answer #1
D. All of the above.

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Reference: Angiodysplasia
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