How are asymptomatic gallstones (cholelithiasis) diagnosed?

Updated: Apr 01, 2019
  • Author: Douglas M Heuman, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Asymptomatic gallstones are often found incidentally on plain radiographs, abdominal sonograms, or computed tomography (CT) scans for workup of other processes. Plain radiographs have little role in the diagnosis of gallstones or gallbladder disease. Cholesterol and pigment stones are radiopaque and visible on radiographs in only 10%-30% of instances, depending on their extent of calcification.


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