PMID: 14555305Oct 14, 2003

Thalassemia minor, the Gilbert mutation, and the risk of gallstones

Caterina Borgna-PignattiR Galanello


Gallstones are a frequent complication of hemolytic anemias. The association with the mutation of the A(TA)nTAA motif of the promoter of the bilirubin UDP-glucuronosyltransferase gene has also been reported to increase the risk of gallstones. We studied the prevalence of cholelithiasis in thalassemia minor and the role of the Gilbert mutation. A group of 143 women obligate carriers of beta-thalassemia, and a control group of 170 hematologically normal women were compared. In both groups serum bilirubin, total cholesterol, and alanine-aminotransferase were measured and analysis of the mutation of the UGT-1A gene was performed. On the same occasion the women underwent ultrasonography. Total and unconjugated bilirubin were significantly higher in beta-thalassemia heterozygotes. Carriers of thalassemia had a higher prevalence of gallstones (20.3% vs 10.6% OR=2.15). Among the control group, the prevalence of gallstones did not differ significantly in relation to UGT1-A1 genotype, while in women carriers of beta-thalassemia it increased in an allele dose-dependent fashion. As compared to the controls, the odds ratios for the development of gallstones in thalassemic women were 1.68 (95% C.I.: 0.70-4.03) for those who had the normal UG...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

UGT1A1 protein, human
Gilbert Disease (Disorder)
Genetic Carriers
UDP-Glucuronic Acid 3-O-beta-D-Galactosyl-D-Galactose Glucuronosyltransferase
Thalassemia Minor
Common Bile Duct Calculi

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