Cyclic deposition of calcium salts during growth of cholesterol gallstones

P. F. Malet, N. E. Weston, B. W. Trotman, R. D. Soloway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Some cholesterol gallstones contain darkly pigmented centers or peripheral concentric pigmented bands. We examined the cross-sectional surface of three cholesterol gallstones which contained both central and peripheral pigmented areas with electronprobe microanalysis (EPM) and energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis (EDXA) to determine the elemental composition of the pigmented regions. Linear EPM across the cross-sectional surface of the stones demonstrated that most of the pigmented regions of all three stones had high Ca and P signals; the nonpigmented intervening areas had markedly lower or no detectable Ca and P signals. In two of the three stones, high O signals coincided with the high Ca and P signals suggesting that both calcium bilirubinate and calcium phosphate were present in these pigmented areas. EDXA of the central and peripheral pigmented areas of each stone confirmed the presence of a high Ca signal. Our results demonstrate that in some cholesterol gallstones there is cyclic deposition of calcium bilirubinate and other calcium salts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-779
Number of pages5
JournalScanning Electron Microscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biophysics


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