What is Porcelain Gall Bladder?

The gall bladder is a small muscular sac that accumulates the bile before it is released into the duodenum. It aids in the metabolism of the ingested food especially the fats.

Porcelain gall bladder

is a condition in which the walls of the gall bladder has undergone calcium encrustation giving it a hard and bluish texture which bears a resemblance to porcelain. Though the exact cause is not clear, it is believed to be caused by the formation of excessive gall stones. The calcification is also thought to be caused from the cholesystitis or inflammation of the discussed organ.

The incidence of this condition in the general population is less than 1%. Women are more likely to suffer from this condition than men.

gall bladder

What is the mechanism that causes Porcelain gallbladder?

After the bile is stored in the gallbladder, it is passed on to the duodenum in amounts commensurate with the amount of food available for digestion. Sometimes due to a very high calorie diet rich in fats, starches, sugars and low protein content, the liver may not produce enough bile. The abnormalities in the gall bladder forces it to not release bile in to the small intestine properly. Hence, it accumulates in the gall bladder. With the bile not breaking down fat properly, the extra fats as in cholesterol bind with the calcium and iron derived from food to form gallstones. Gall stones can get lodged in the common bile duct causing blockages which results in the inflammation of the gall bladder. The resulting infection in the organ is called cholecystitis. With time, calcification of the walls of the gallbladder leads to the described condition. 95% of the patients of cholecystitis have this condition.

Symptoms of the condition

  • Jaundice or yellowing of skin color
  • Abdominal pain in the upper right quadrant
  • Vomiting
  • Hepatomegaly or enlargement of liver
  • Iron deficiency causing anemia
  • Osteoporosis caused by calcium deficiency


Research has indicated that the presence of this condition can lead to the development of gallbladder cancer.

Treatment of Porcelain gallbladder

The only recommended treatment of the disease is the surgical removal of the gall bladder. The loss of gallbladder does not affect the quality of life and humans easily adjust to it.

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