Journal List > Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr > v.1(1) > 1110629

Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1998 Sep;1(1):100-106. Korean.
Published online Sep 30, 1998.
Copyright © 1998 The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Ceftriaxone Associated Biliary Pseudolithiasis
Jae Young Kim, Jae Sung Ko, Hwan Jong Lee, Young Ryul Ko and Jeong Kee Seo
Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Ceftriaxone, a potent parenteral third-generation semisynthetic cephalosporin is widely used for the treatment of a variety of bacterial infections in both children and adult. Review of recent data indicates that ceftriaxone treatment has been associated with the development of reversible biliary pseudolithiasis and that is thought by many to be a benign process. Despite, several reports describe patients with ceftriaxone pseudolithiasis who required cholecystectomy for presumed acute cholecystitis. In this study we evaluated the incidence, risk factors, and prognosis of gallbladder pseudolithiasis after ceftriaxone treatment.


Between march, 1997 and January, 1998, any child admitted to the Children's hospital of National University of Seoul and prescribed ceftriaxone for probable or definite bacterial infection were eligible for the study. 21 of them had ultrasound examination on the 2~12 days later after the start of ceftriaxone treatment, 8 of whom documented gallbladder precipitates or pseudolithiasis during treatment by serial abdominal ultrasound. Repeat abdominal ultrasound was performed 10~80 days later after the end of ceftriaxone treatment. The children with underlying liver disease or decreased renal function were excluded in this study.


1) 21 children had ultrasound examinations of gallbladder during ceftriaxone treatment and 8 (38%) of them acquired pseudolithiasis. 2) The patients who developed gallbladder pseudolithiasis were significantly older (6.3±2.9 yr. vs 2.2±3.1 yr.)(p<0.05), and older than 24 months were probably the significant risk associated with this phenomenon (p<0.05). However, no significant differences in sex, type of infection, fasting, and ceftriaxone treatment regimen (dose, duration of therapy). 3) The abnormality found on gallbladder ultrasonography was a strikingly hyperechogenic material with post-acoustic shadowing in 5 patients without post-acoustic shadowing in 3 patients 4) Follow up of gallbladder ultrasound was performed in 6 patients after cessation of ceftriaxone treatment. Sonographic abnormalities completely resolved within 14 days post cessation of therapy in 2 patients; 30 days, 1 patient; 80 days, 3 patients.


We suggest that routine abdominal ultrasound should be considered in all children who received high dose ceftriaxone in more than 24 months of age and developed hepatobiliary symptoms during or just after ceftriaxone treatment.

Keywords: Reversible biliary pseudolithiasis; Ceftriaxone