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Gallbladder Varices

Case Detail

Anatomy: Gastrointestinal
Joseph Junewick, MD FACR
Diagnostic Category: Vascular
Created: over 10 years ago
Updated: over 10 years ago
Tags: PEDS
Modality/Study Types: US CT
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Abdominal pain.

Case Images


Gallbladder varices related to portal vein thrombosis


US – Mural serpiginous anechoic regions of the gall bladder

CT – Portal vein thrombus with gall bladder wall varicies.


Gallbladder varices are portsosystemic shunts between the cystic vein branch of the portal vein and the systemic anterior abdominal wall veins or the intrahepatic portal veins seen with portal hypertension. Gallbladder varices are associated with portal vein thrombosis in 30%. Varices are unrelated to the site of splenoportal obstruction. There is an increased risk for spontaneous and iatrogenic bleeding. Differential diagnoses include: mucous retention cysts, mural edema, and pancreatic rests. Doppler is helpful in differentiating; low velocity portal flow and color flow are demonstrated.


Chawla Y, Dilawari JB, Katariya S. Gallbladder Varices in Portal Vein Thrombosis. AJR 1994; 162:643-645.

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