Variations and anomalies of the biliary system and related blood vessels are relatively common, occurring in 10% of necropsy specimens.1 However, absence of the gallbladder without associated defects of the biliary tract is an exceedingly rare finding, the incidence being reported as 0.065% by Tallmadge,2 who found 12 cases in a collected series of 18,350 necropsies, and as 0.04% by Mouzas and Wilson,3 who reported 9 cases in 21,631 necropsies. We wish to report a case, confirmed by operative cholangiographic examination, and to review briefly the pertinent literature and practical aspects of this condition.
In 1928, Bower4 reviewed 31 cases of congenital absence of the gallbladder and cystic duct. In 1936, Gross5 reported 38 cases, and Finney and Owen6 added 10 cases in 1942. A review of this subject by Dixon and Lichtman7 in 1945 included 50 cases reported since 1900 and 10