Why are gallstones more common in women than in men? To investigate this, we measured gallbladder emptying (by ultrasonography and release of endogenous cholecystokinin (CCK) (by specific radioimmunoassay) in eight men and nine women in response to ingestion of corn oil (1 gm/kg). Each woman was studied on the fourteenth and twenty-first day of her menstrual cycle, estimated to be the estrogen (women [E]) and progesterone (women [P] ) peaks, respectively. Fasting plasma concentrations of CCK were significantly higher in women (E) (135 ± 7 pg/ml) than in men (99 ± 13 pg/ml) but not significantly higher than in women (P) (113 ± 11 pg/ml). The peak increase in CCK concentration over basal concentration and the integrated release of CCK were not significantly different from one group to another. Men had a larger fasting gallbladder volume (GBV) (21.4 ± 3.2 ml) than did women (E) (12.4 ± 2.1 ml) and women (P) (14.2 ± 2.1 ml) and emptied more GBV in response to fat than did the women. The residual GBV and fractional emptying after ingestion of corn oil were not different among the three groups. Measurements of plasma CCK and GBV during the contraction phase were highly correlated in all groups. It appears, from these data, that the increased prevalence of gallstonew in women relative t men cannot be explaind on the basis of significant differences either in release of CCK or in gallbladder motility. Linear regression lines that were developed indicated that the mean change in GBV relative to a given change in plasma CCK was significantly higher in men than in women. Differences between men and women in this hormonal-motility relationship may contribute to the incidence of gallstones in premenopausal women.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 1984|
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