CT findings of gallbladder metastases: Emphasis on differences according to primary tumors

Won Seok Choi, Se Hyung Kim, Eun Sun Lee, Kyoung Bun Lee, Won Jae Yoon, Cheong Il Shin, Joon Koo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective To describe computed tomography (CT) features of metastatic gallbladder (GB) tumors (MGTs) from various primary tumors and to determine whether there are differential imaging features of MGTs according to different primary tumors. Materials and Methods Twenty-one patients who had pathologically confirmed MGTs and underwent CT were retrospectively enrolled. Clinical findings including presenting symptoms, type of surgery, and interval between primary and metastatic tumors were recorded. Histologic features of primary tumor and MGTs including depth of invasion were also reviewed. Imaging findings were analyzed for the location and morphology of MGTs, pattern and degree of enhancement, depth of invasion, presence of intact overlying mucosa, and concordance between imaging features of primary and metastatic tumors. Significant differences between the histologies of MGTs and imaging features were determined. Results The most common primary tumor metastasized to the GB was gastric cancer (n = 8), followed by renal cell carcinoma (n = 4) and hepatocellular carcinoma (n = 3). All MGTs (n = 21) manifested as infiltrative wall thickenings (n = 15) or as polypoid lesions (n = 6) on CT, similar to the features of primary GB cancers. There were significant differences in the morphology of MGTs, enhancement pattern, enhancement degree, and depth of invasion according to the histology of primary tumors (p < 0.05). Metastatic adenocarcinomas of the GB manifested as infiltrative and persistently enhancing wall thickenings, while non-adenocarcinomatous metastases usually manifested as polypoid lesions with early wash-in and wash-out. Conclusion Although CT findings of MGTs are similar to those of primary GB cancer, they are significantly different between the various histologies of primary tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-345
Number of pages12
JournalKorean Journal of Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • CT
  • Gallbladder
  • MRI
  • Metastasis
  • Neoplasms


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