Selective or Routine Histology of Cholecystectomy Specimens for Diagnosing Incidental Carcinoma of Gallbladder and Correlation with Careful Intraoperative Macroscopic Examination? A Systematic Review

Document Type: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


1 Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Dawadmi, Shaqra University, Saudi Arabia.

2 Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Dawadmi, Shaqra University, Saudi Arabia.

3 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Dawadmi, Shaqra University, Saudi Arabia.

4 Department of Anesthesiology, Ministry of Health, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.


Background: Selective or Routine histology of cholecystectomy specimens for benign gallbladder disease has always been a matter of debate because of the low prevalence and bad prognosis associated with gall bladder carcinoma. The objective of this study is to ascertain whether selective histology can be preferred over Routine histology without any harm. Methods: This systematic review is conducted according to PRISMA’s checklist; relevant articles were searched in the database until September 1 2020 in PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, and Web of Science databases, manually, with search queries and without date restrictions. Studies included in this systematic review involved patients who underwent cholecystectomy for benign gallbladder disease and were diagnosed with gallbladder carcinoma incidentally either after selective or routine histology of the gallbladder. Results: A total of 24 routine or selective histology recommending studies were selected for the systematic review after following the inclusion and exclusion criteria. These studies comprised 77,213 numbers of patients and 486 numbers of Malignancies. These studies correlate the number of IGBC diagnosed histologically with the number of IGBC’s that were suspected by the surgeons intraoperative by macroscopy. Routine recommending studies show a significant number of IGBC diagnosed histologically as missed by surgeons whereas the selective recommending studies show most of the histologically diagnosed IGBC already suspected by the surgeons intraoperative. When comparing the macroscopic details of the IGBC’s between routine and selective studies, we found that there was significant overlap. Most of the findings missed by the surgeons as suspicious in routine studies were suspected by the surgeons involved in selective histology recommending studies. Thereby, favouring selective histology and emphasizing the need for careful intraoperative macroscopy for suspecting IGBC. Conclusion: Selective Histological examination of cholecystectomy specimens can be preferred if a careful intraoperative macroscopic examination is done and patient risk factors are taken into consideration.


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