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Are left-sided gallbladders really located on the left side?

Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Medicine


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this investigation was to establish the association between left-sided gallbladders and right-sided round ligaments. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: The left-sided gallbladder is a rare anomaly and has been classified into two types: 1) gallbladder migration to the left side and 2) development of a second gallbladder with atrophy of the original one. Recently, left-sided gallbladders were reported to be associated with right-sided round ligaments. METHODS: The authors reviewed 3 patients treated in their departments and 15 patients reported in the literature diagnosed as having left-sided gallbladders accompanied by right-sided round ligaments. RESULTS: Although the gallbladders of all 18 patients were located at the normal site, they were diagnosed as being left sided because of the right-sided round ligaments. This anomaly was accompanied by abnormal intrahepatic portal venous branching, which could be classified into two types. In eight patients, the first branch of the portal vein ran to the posterior segment and then the portal vein formed a trunk of the left and right anterior portal veins. The latter portal vein formed the umbilical portion and finally joined the right-sided round ligament (trifurcation type). In five, the portal vein diverged normally to form the left and right portal veins, then the latter branched to form the anterior and posterior segments, and finally the anterior branch joined the round ligament (bifurcation type). In the other five, the branching type could not be determined. CONCLUSIONS: A right-sided round ligament causes a gallbladder at the normal site to be located on the left side. This anomaly should not be diagnosed as a left-sided gallbladder but as a right-sided round ligament. Recognition of this anomaly clinically is important when performing hepatectomy, because it is always associated with abnormal intrahepatic portal venous branching.

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