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Gallbladder Pathology Online

Pathology of Polyps of the Gallbladder

Dr Sampurna Roy  MD


1) Cholesterol Polyps:

More than 80% mucosal polyps of gallbladder are cholesterol polyps.


Cholesterol polyps are found in almost 10% of all cases of cholesterolosis.

These are multilobular, yellow pedunculated lesions 0.5 to 1 cm in diameter.

Cholesterol polyps are usually multiple lesions, 3 to 10 polyps are often identified.

A vascular connective tissue stalk is present in each polyp.

The lamina propria contains numerous foamy macrophages covered by an intact epithelium.

Cholesterol polyps are an etiological factor of acute pancreatitis. 

It is suggested that detached polyps cause  pancreaticobiliary obstruction.

2) Inflammatory polyps:

These are rare, firm, sessile polyps. They may be solitary or multiple.

Microscopically, there is an inflamed granulation and fibrous tissue. The inflammatory infiltrate is composed of lymphocytes.

Surface ulceration may be present.

3) Adenomatous polyps: Adenoma of the Gallbladder

The following malignant tumours may present as polypoid mass in the gallbladder.


Carcinoma of the Gallbladder;

Adenocarcinoma of the Gallbladder;

Papillary Adenocarcinoma of Gallbladder;

Intestinal-type Adenocarcinoma of the Gallbladder;

Mucinous Adenocarcinoma of the Gallbladder;

Signet Ring Carcinoma of the Gallbladder;

Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma of the  Gallbladder;

Small (oat) cell carcinoma of the Gallbladder;

Sarcomatoid Carcinoma /Carcinosarcoma of the Gallbladder;

Melanoma of the Gallbladder;

Lymphoma of the Gallbladder;

Undifferentiated Carcinoma of the Gallbladder;

Metastatic Tumours of the Gallbladder.


Further reading:

Gallbladder cholesterolosis: an aetiological factor in acute pancreatitis  

Diagnosis and management of gallbladder polyps.

Ultrasonography in the diagnosis of true gallbladder polyps

Gallbladder polyps: epidemiology, natural history

Gallbladder polyps, cholesterolosis, adenomyomatosis, and acute acalculous cholecystitis

Gallbladder polyps in children--classification and management

Gallbladder polyps: how should they be treated and when?

Prevalence and risk factors for gall bladder polyps











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