Ultrasound evaluation of gallbladder dimensions in healthy adults


Background and objective: The gallbladder size, volume, and wall thickness can be affected by many disease processes. Therefore, there is a need to establish a baseline sonographic normogram of gallbladder dimensions and volume for early detection and follow-up of a diseased gallbladder. This study aimed to establish a baseline sonographic normogram for gallbladder volume and wall thickness in normal adults and its relationship with age, gender, and body mass index.Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study was conducted on 400 normal adult subjects aged 18-73 years at the Radiology Department of Rizgary Teaching Hospital and Private Clinic in Erbil city, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Gallbladder dimensions, including height, length, width, volume, and wall thickness, were measured by sonographic scanning of the subjects' gallbladder after an overnight fasting.Results: Out of 400 subjects, 248 (62%) were male, and 152 (38%) were female. There was a slight difference between male and female gallbladder volume (29.87 ml for males and 26.5 ml for females) and wall thickness (2.53 mm for males and 2.46 mm for females), with the measurements slightly higher in males. A statistically significant variation was found between gender and age of participants with gallbladder height (ranging 2.4-3.06 cm), width (ranging 2.41-3.38 cm), volume (ranging 21.03-38.39 ml), and wall thickness (ranging 2.16-2.96 mm). A non significant correlation was found between the age and gender of participants with the length of the gallbladder (ranging 6.33-6.61 cm). A moderately significant correlation was found between gallbladder volume with height and weight of participants. A weak significant statistical relation was found between gallbladder volume and the body mass index of participants.Conclusion: Normal gallbladder sonographic dimensions have been established in our locality to be used as a reference value for evaluating the healthy and diseased gallbladder. The mean volume for males was 29.87cm3, and for females was 26.57cm3. The mean wall thickness for males was 2.53mm and 2.46 mm for females. The mean height was 2.92cm for males and 2.76cm for females. The mean width was 2.93 cm for males and 2.78cm for females. The mean length was 6.54 cm for males and 6.46 cm for females.