Title of Images: B mode and 3D Ultrasound images of fetal abdomen at 35 weeks revealing gallbladder calculi.
Click images to enlarge
Description: Gallstones are found more frequently in infants who develop hemolytic anemias, ileum pathologies, biliary tract congenital anomalies and/or cholestasia related to septic states.None of these conditions were present in this case.
Several hypotheses exist in the literature. Fanaroff et al. suggested that hemoglobin transformed in bilirubin passed through the placenta, increasing fetal indirect bilirubin serum levels. Brown et al. proposed that an increase in estrogen serum levels could increase the risk of pigmented stone formation by increasing the cholesterol excretion and diminishing the biliary pigment synthesis. It has also been suggested that narcotic use during pregnancy, hemolytic anemia, Rh (D) incompatibility, and anomalies such as choledochal cysts might be considered as risk factors. pregnancy induced cholestasia has also been considered as a risk factor.
Additional Information: Cycle cell anemia is known to be a cause of fetal gallbladder calculi.