Non-neoplastic Polyps of the Gallbladder: A Clinicopathologic Analysis of 447 Cases

Taskin O. C., Bellolio E., Dursun N., Seven I. E., Roa J. C., Araya J. C., ...More

The American journal of surgical pathology, vol.44, no.4, pp.467-476, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/pas.0000000000001405
  • Journal Name: The American journal of surgical pathology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.467-476
  • Keywords: gallbladder, polyp, non-neoplastic polyp, cholesterol polyp, fibromyoglandular polyp, histopathology
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


There is no systematic histopathologic analysis of non-neoplastic polyps in the gallbladder. In this study, in addition to a computer search for cases designated as "polyp," a systematic review of 2533 consecutive routinely sampled archival and 203 totally submitted prospective cholecystectomies were analyzed for >2 mm polyps (cut-off was based on radiologic sensitivity). A total of 447 non-neoplastic polyps were identified. The frequency was 3% in archival cases and 5% in totally submitted cases. Only 21 (5%) were ≥1 cm. The average age was 52 years, and the female to male ratio was 3.1. Two distinct categories were delineated: (1) injury-related polyps (n=273): (a) Fibro(myo)glandular polyps (n=214) were small (mean=0.4 cm), broad-based, often multiple (45%), almost always (98%) gallstone-associated, and were composed of a mixture of (myo)fibroblastic tissue/lobular glandular units with chronic cholecystitis. Dysplasia seen in 9% seemed to be secondary involvement. (b) Metaplastic pyloric glands forming polypoid collections (n=42). (c) Inflammatory-type polyps associated with acute/subacute injury (11 granulation tissue, 3 xanthogranulomatous, 3 lymphoid). (2) Cholesterol polyps (n=174) occurred in uninjured gallbladders, revealing a very thin stalk, edematous cores devoid of glands but with cholesterol-laden macrophages in 85%, and cholesterolosis in the uninvolved mucosa in 60%. Focal low-grade dysplasia was seen in 3%, always confined to the polyp, unaccompanied by carcinoma. In conclusion, non-neoplastic polyps are seen in 3% of cholecystectomies and are often small. Injury-related fibromyoglandular polyps are the most common. Cholesterol polyps have distinctive cauliflower architecture, often in a background of uninjured gallbladders with cholesterolosis and may lack the cholesterol-laden macrophages in the polyp itself. Although dysplastic changes can involve non-neoplastic polyps, they do not seem to be the cause of invasive carcinoma by themselves.