Congenital Absence of the Gallbladder:  Diagnosis by Operative Cholangiography

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(3):437-439. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320030081014.
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Congenital absence of the gallbladder is a very rare occurrence, most cases of which are found at autopsy. Dixon and Lichtman,2 in 1945, were able to find 60 well-documented cases in the literature to that date, 24 of which were discovered at operation. In 1949 Hillemand, Rosenstiel, and Brule6 found a total of 86 cases, 36 of which had been diagnosed at operation. Malmström,11 in 1953, was able to find five more operative cases, including one of his own, and Polivy and Sachs,12 in 1954, reported one more, bringing the total number to 42. The frequency of occurrence of this anomaly in autopsy series is variously reported to be from 0.03% to 0.09%, but is more likely closer to the lower figure.

Twenty-six animal species, including certain herbivores, marsupials, and rodents, normally have no gallbladder. Though it was formerly thought that fetal peritonitis, syphilis, and a


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