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Abdominal pain and vomiting during pregnancy due to cholesterolosis
  1. Emilie VJ van Limburg Stirum1,
  2. Maria G van Pampus1,
  3. Jeroen M Jansen2 and
  4. Erica WM Janszen1
  1. 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, OLVG, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Gastro-enterology, OLVG, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Drs Emilie VJ van Limburg Stirum, e.vanlimburgstirum{at}


We present a 22-year-old pregnant woman at 15 weeks of gestation, with abdominal pain and vomiting. We demonstrate that diagnosis and treatment of vomiting and abdominal pain in pregnancy can be difficult. Therefore, involvement of other medical specialists is important when common treatments fail. Cholesterolosis can cause symptoms similar to those caused by cholelithiasis. Controversial to gallstones, identification of cholesterolosis by ultrasound is hard. Cholecystectomy is the only effective treatment option for cholesterolosis and can be performed safely during pregnancy. Cholecystectomy in pregnancy should be considered if, despite atypical symptoms, gallbladder disease is suspected and other diagnoses are ruled out. This may reduce recurrent symptoms, hospital admissions, exposure to harmful drugs and obstetric complications.

  • pancreas and biliary tract
  • pregnancy
  • gastrointestinal surgery

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  • Contributors Each author has indicated that she has met the journal’s requirements for authorship. EVJvLS, MGvP and EWMJ were all involved in patient’s care. Together with EWMJ, EVJvLS concepted a first version of the manuscript. MGvP made revisions to the manuscript. Because the gastro-enterologists were intensively involved in this case, JMJ made revisions to the manuscript as well. All authors accepted the final and submitted version of this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.