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Open Access Open Badges Case Report

Calcified gallstone in a 3 year-old boy: a case report

Erik R Barthel1, James R Pierce1, Osnat Zmora1, Susan R Harlan2, Sudha Russell3 and Cathy Shin1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd Mailstop 100, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA

2 Department of Radiology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd Mailstop 81, Los Angeles, CA, 90027, USA

3 Department of Emergency and Transport Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd Mailstop 113, Los Angeles, CA, 90027, USA

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:433  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-433

Published: 13 August 2012



Gallstones are relatively rare in children. At-risk populations include patients suffering from hemolysis syndromes. Regardless of etiology, these patients usually will present with postprandial abdominal pain, and ultrasonography is the mainstay of diagnosis. However, some gallstones are radiopaque and can be visualized on plain abdominal radiography.

Case presentation

We present the uncommon but classic plain x-ray finding of a calcified gallstone in a 3 year-old Hispanic boy. He was treated with elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy.


Cholelithiasis is rare in children, and calcified stones that will appear on plain abdominal x-rays are even rarer. If symptomatic, cholecystectomy by a pediatric surgeon is the treatment of choice. We discuss some of the recent developments in treatment of this condition in this patient population.