Management of incidentally detected gallbladder polyps: a review of clinical scenarios using the 2022 SRU gallbladder polyp consensus guidelines

Jessica Knight*, Aya Kamaya, David Fetzer, Nirvikar Dahiya, Helena Gabriel, Shuchi K. Rodgers, Mitchell Tublin, Andrew Walsh, David Bingham, William Middleton, Christopher Fung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Gallbladder (GB) polyps are a common incidental finding on sonography, but only a small fraction of polyps become GB cancer. The Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound (SRU) consensus committee recently performed an extensive literature review and published guidelines for GB polyp follow-up/management to provide clarity among the many heterogeneous recommendations that are available to clinicians. As these guidelines have become adopted into clinical practice, challenging clinical scenarios have arisen including GB polyps in primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), high risk geographic/genetic patient populations, shrinking polyps, pedunculated vs sessile polyps, thin vs thick stalked polyps, vascular polyps and multiple polyps. According to the SRU guidelines, clinicians should refer to gastroenterology guidelines when managing GB polyps in patients with known PSC. If patients at high geographic/genetic risk develop GB polyps, ‘extremely low risk’ polyps may be managed as ‘low risk’ and 10–14 mm ‘extremely low risk’ or ‘7–14 mm’ low risk polyps that decrease in size by ≥ 4 mm require no follow-up. Thin-stalked or pedunculated polyps are ‘extremely low risk’ and thick-stalked pedunculated polyps are ‘low risk’. Sessile polyps are ‘low risk’ but should receive immediate specialist referral if features suggestive of GB cancer are present. Neither polyp multiplicity nor vascularity impact risk of GB cancer and follow up should be based on morphology alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAbdominal Radiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Follow-up
  • Gallbladder
  • Guidelines
  • Management
  • Polyp
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology

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