Diabetics are known to have an increased prevalence of gallstones. The aim of this study was to investigate whether diabetics have increased gallbladder volumes that would predispose to stasis, nucleation of cholesterol crystals, and gallstone formation. The gallbladder volume of 271 diabetic subjects and 277 controls was determined by ultrasound using the ellipse formula. Gallbladder volume was also determined by the sum of the cylinders method in 143 cases with a strong correlation (r = 0.89) between the two methods. Using analysis of variance, gallbladder volume was influenced by both diabetic type (NIDDM = 33.68 cm3, IDDM = 26.84 cm3, controls = 29.05 cm3; P = 0.018) and the presence of gallstones (gallstones = 32.04 cm3, no gallstones = 27.58 cm3; P = 0.018). The variation in gallbladder volume between NIDDM, IDDM, and control subjects was influenced by the presence of gallstones (P = 0.024, interaction term from ANOVA). Significant differences (P < 0.001) were only found between NIDDM vs IDDM and NIDDM vs control in the nongallstone group (NIDDM = 34.33 cm3, IDDM = 25.08 cm3, control = 25.17 cm3). Males had significantly larger gallbladder volumes than females: 31.98 cm3 vs 27.74 cm3 (P = 0.023). After the inclusion of BMI, HDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and age in a statistical model with gender and diabetic type in those without gallstones, significant differences were still found between NIDDM and IDDM (P = 0.013) and NIDDM and controls (P = 0.005), demon-strating that NIDDM is an independent predictor for increased gallbladder volume.
- Gallbladder volume