Recent studies suggest an etiologic role for gallbladder stasis in the genesis of cholesterol gallstones. The effect of periodic gallbladder emptying on stone prevention is not clear. Using the prairie dog model, we tested the hypothesis that daily cholecystokinin-octapeptide (CCK-OP) prevents gallbladder stasis and cholesterol gallstone formation. Prairie dogs were fed either a control or a 0.4% cholesterol-enriched chow for 6 weeks. Cholesterol-fed animals received a daily intramuscular injection of either saline, CCK-OP, 0.2 μg/kg or CCK-OP, 1.0 μg/kg. Gallbladder bile lithogenic index (LI), bile salt pool size (BSPS), and the degree of radioisotope equilibration between gallbladder and hepatic bile (Rsa-an index of stasis) were determined. The more physiologic dose of CCK-OP (0.2) significantly reduced BSPS and bile lithogenicity, prevented stasis and reduced the incidence of gallstones. Our data suggest that (1) periodic gallbladder emptying decreases bile lithogenicity, prevents stasis, and reduces the incidence of cholelithiasis, (2) stasis is essential to gallstone formation and (3) daily physiologic doses of CCK-OP may be useful for gallstone prophylaxis in high-risk patients.
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