Gallbladder & extrahepatic bile ducts


Porcelain gallbladder

Last author update: 1 September 2012
Last staff update: 24 June 2022

Copyright: 2003-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Porcelain gallbladder

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
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Cite this page: Gulwani H. Porcelain gallbladder. website. Accessed October 2nd, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Dense, paucicellular hyaline fibrosis transforming gallbladder wall into relatively thin and uniform band
  • Diffusely effaces most of normal structure, some cases show calcifications
  • Also called hyalinizing cholecystitis
  • 0.5% of cholecystectomies - 20% of cases associated with gallbladder carcinoma
Gross description
  • Pearly white appearance due to dystrophic calcification
Gross images

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Porcelain gallbladder

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Widely scattered and bland appearing glands embedded in thin band of hyaline stroma, commonly showing a disappearing lining, leaving behind granular, necrotic intraluminal debris (regression) with or without calcification (Am J Surg Pathol 2011;35:1104)
  • Surface epithelium, if preserved, typically shows carcinoma in situ of either denuding or micropapillary types
  • Glandular elements in wall should raise suspicion of carcinoma, since benign glands are usually sparse
Differential diagnosis
  • Carcinoma of gallbladder:
    • Glands have longitudinal axis parallel to the surface, irregular contours, clear cytoplasm with distinct borders, nuclear irregularities, washed out chromatin
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