In this study, researchers from Santiago, Chile, assessed the prevalence of cholelithiasis among male patients with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). The research team then compared these patients to a control group, and to the general male Chilean population.
In addition, they evaluated the correlation between cholelithiasis in chronic SCI patients, and risk factors such as age, obesity and diabetes mellitus.
The team included 100 SCI patients in the study. All patients were male, over 20 years old, and suffered from a spinal cord injury greater than 1 year of evolution.
Patients were divided into 2 groups; one group consisted of 76 subjects rated ASIA A or B and the other group consisted of 24 subjects rated ASIA C and D.
Patients were compared to a control group of 100 male volunteers, without SCI or history of biliary disease.
|Prevalence of cholelithiasis was 25% in the spinal cord injury patients, compared to 9% in the control.|
All 3 groups underwent ultrasonographic imaging evaluation of the gallbladder and the biliary tract between 1998 and 2000.
The researchers determined that the prevalence of cholelithiasis was 25% in the SCI patients ASIA A and B, 25% in the SCI patients ASIA C and D, and 9% in the control group.
The team identified a significant association between cholelithiasis and SCI.
However, there was no association between the presence of cholelithiasis, neurological level of injury, duration of SCI, or age, obesity and diabetes mellitus.
Drs Rotter and Larraín concluded, "SCI represents a major risk factor for the development of cholelithiasis".
"It should be considered a late, secondary complication of a spinal cord injury."