Neoplastic polyps in gallbladder: a retrospective study to determine risk factors and treatment strategy for gallbladder polyps

Yongliang Sun, Zhiying Yang, Xu Lan, Haidong Tan


Background: Preoperative differentiation of malignant and premalignant gallbladder polyps (GBPs) from benign lesions is a key imperative to guide treatment decision-making. We aimed to characterize the various types of GBPs and sought to identify the risk factors for neoplastic polyps. Our findings may help optimize treatment strategy.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of 686 patients with post-cholecystectomy pathologically-proven GBPs between January 2003 and December 2016. The patients were classified into non-neoplastic polyp group, benign neoplastic polyp group, and adenoma canceration group. Clinical features, ultrasound findings, and results of laboratory investigations and histopathological examination were reviewed and compared between the groups.
Results: Out of 686 patients, 542 (79.0%) had non-neoplastic polyps, 134 (19.5%) had neoplastic polyps, and 10 (1.5%) had adenoma canceration. The mean age was 46.06±12.12 years; 383 (55.8%) patients were female. The median (25th percentile, 75th percentile) time between diagnosis and surgery in the cholesterol polyp group [24 (3.5, 60) months] was significantly longer than that in adenoma [12 (2, 60) months] and adenoma canceration [5 (0.475, 12) months] groups. The mean diameter was 1.14±0.61 cm (range, 0.5–8.4 cm). Three hundred twelve (45.5%) patients had solitary polyps and intralesional blood flow was observed in 41 (6.0%) patients. On univariate analysis, age >49.5 years, polyp size >1.15 cm, solitary polyp, intralesional blood flow, absence of symptoms, and lack of cholecystitis showed a significant association with adenoma. On multivariate analysis, polyp size (>1.15 cm), intralesional blood flow, and lack of cholecystitis were independent predictors of adenoma.
Conclusions: Polyp size >1.15 cm, intralesional blood flow, and lack of cholecystitis were predictors of neoplastic polyps. Malignant transformation of adenoma may occur over a relatively short time.