Altered gallbladder motility by progesterone has been recognized as an important factor in the development of gallstones. There are two types of hepatolithiasis, that occurs de novo in the intrahepatic ducts with an intact gallbladder (primary hepatolithiasis) and that which originates in the gallbladder and the stones migrate into the intrahepatic duct (secondary hepatolithiasis). This study was designed to evaluate the possible role of the progesterone receptor of gallbladder in the pathogenesis of hepatolithiasis. Eighty-four patients with hepatolithiasis (34 patients had primary hepatolithiasis and the other 50 patients secondary hepatolithiasis) were included. Paraffin-embedded specimens of gallbladder were processed to have an immunohistochemical staining for progesterone receptor. Positivity for progesterone receptor of gallbladder specimens was noted in eight patients (23.5%) with primary hepatolithiasis and in 23 patients (46%) with secondary hepatolithiasis. There is significant difference (P = 0.031) in positive rate for progesterone receptor between the primary hepatolithiasis and secondary hepatolithiasis groups. In conclusion, many more patients (46%) with secondary hepatolithiasis show positivity for progesterone receptor of gallbladder specimens than patients with primary hepatolithiasis (23.5%) (P = 0.031). This phenomenon is intriguing and should be of further evaluation and elucided.
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