The most appropriate means to diagnose and manage patients with suspected gallbladder dyskinesia remain contentious. A major problem relates to difficulties in clearly identifying the features that characterize biliary-like pain. Conflicting reports in the literature regarding whether symptoms alone are reliable predictors of pain relief after cholecystectomy in patients with suspected gallbladder dysfunction underscore the perceived need by clinicians for a reliable test to help confirm a clinical suspicion of gallbladder dysfunction before cholecystectomy. Most studies report use of cholecystokinin-cholescintigraphy (CCK-CS) with calculation of gallbladder ejection fraction in predicting symptom outcome after cholecystectomy in patients with suspected gallbladder dyskinesia. However, quality evidence is lacking, thereby precluding a definitive recommendation regarding its use. Nevertheless, CCK-CS may be useful when performed using a slow infusion of CCK in a well-selected patient population. Based on our clinical experience and interpretation of the literature, we currently suggest consideration of cholecystectomy to our patients based on high clinical suspicion. This is performed after adequate follow-up with trials of pharmacologic therapies and exclusion of other disease entities and counseling the patient on postoperative expectations. Clearly, a large, prospective, controlled study is needed with patients meeting the Rome definition of gallbladder dyskinesia, randomized to surgery or no surgery, and using standardized CCK-CS methods and outcome measures with long-term follow-up. This study would help us better understand the pathophysiology and optimal management of this clinically challenging condition.
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