Investigators are pursuing promising leads, but no answer has been found yet, in efforts to learn the mechanism of gallstone formation, participants indicated in a symposium on the biliary tract.
Setting the stage for discussion in the Section on Gastroenterology, John A. Higgins, MD, of the Mayo Clinic noted:
"Throughout the ages, the gallbladder has been the whipping boy for dyspepsias of all degrees and descriptions. From earliest recorded medical history, alterations of the bile have been thought to be etiologic in maladies of all types.
"Despite this long clinical history, it is only in recent years that significant progress has been made in understanding the mechanism of the concentration of hepatic bile by the gallbladder. And the fundamental alteration in function leading to the formation of human gallstones is still unknown."
However, he concluded, information is accumulating on subcellular structure and being fitted into the overall picture of gallbladder