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Cholesterol Gallstones

Cholesterol stones are formed when the bile is supersaturated with cholesterol, which may result from decreased bile acid production, increased cholesterol output in bile or both.

Stone formation by cholesterol monohydrate crystals is enhanced by mucin hypersecretion and gallbladder hypomotility.

Cholesterol stone formation is promoted by conditions that increase hepatic cholesterol excretion, such as oral contraceptives, pregnancy, anticholesterol medications, rapid weight loss, obesity, total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and hypertriglyceridaemia, or by conditions that induce gallbladder stasis (e.g. mechanical obstruction, neurogenic/hormonal factors).