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Weight Loss & Gallstones Study Results
High Risk of Gallstones Formation During Rapid Weight Loss
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Weight Loss & Gallstones Study Results

For Introduction, see Gallstones & Weight Loss

Gallstones & Weight Loss Study - Results
Forty-one (68.3 percent, 8 male, 33 female) of the original 60 patients completed all phases of the study (15 urso, 15 ibuprofen, 11 placebo). The average weight loss was 98.5 +/- 7.2 lb over the 12-month period following bariatric surgery. Twenty-nine (71 percent) of 41 patients who completed the study developed GS. Of those who formed stones, 12 (41 percent) developed symptomatic GS and 8/12 (67 percent) underwent cholecystectomy (4 refused operation). Preoperative gallbladder emptying studies showed no differences in emptying between groups (urso 29 percent, ibuprofen 32 percent, and placebo 30 percent). There was no correlation found between the cholesterol saturation index (CSI mean 205.15, range 67-360) and the incidence of GS. There was a statistical difference (P < 0.01) between the ursodeoxycholic acid group and the ibuprofen group with respect to the incidence of stone formation. There was correlation between weight loss (mean 99 lb, range 21-278 lb) and GS formation, in that patients who lost more weight had a greater tendency to form gallstones. Complete medical compliance was achieved in only 17/60 (28 percent) of patients originally enrolled.

Gallstones & Weight Loss Study - Conclusions
This pilot study confirms the high incidence of gallstone formation (71 percent of assessed patients) associated with rapid weight loss in patients undergoing gastric bypass. Despite active enrollment in a supervised prevention trial, the two therapies investigated to reduce gallstone formation were not efficacious, likely because compliance with medical therapy was poor. These findings highlight the significant risk of gallstone formation in this patient cohort even when prevention strategies are utilized.

Source: Wudel LJ Jr, Wright JK, Debelak JP, Allos TM, Shyr Y, Chapman WC. Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee. 2002

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