Acute and Chronic Gallbladder and Biliary Disease


Major Spencer
Gallbladder and bile duct, or biliary, conditions affect the body's ability to digest fats. Dr. Malone, can you tell us more about these diseases?

Dr. Malone
Certainly, Major Spencer. One of the most common types of gallbladder disease is gallstone disease. When gallstones travel into the biliary tree and become lodged in a bile duct, they are often referred to as biliary or bile duct stones.

Another type of biliary condition is called a biliary stricture, which happens when the common bile duct becomes abnormally narrow.

Cholangitis is inflammation or infection of the bile ducts. A condition called primary sclerosing cholangitis results when inflammation leads to scarring that damages and blocks the bile ducts.

Diagnosis of gallbladder and biliary diseases usually involves one or more imaging tests, including:

  • Ultrasound
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, or MRCP, and
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography, or PTC

Blood tests may also be done to diagnose certain biliary conditions. In some cases, a liver biopsy may be recommended as well.