Cholecystosonography was undertaken in 90 patients with sickle cell disease aged 15 years and over. Gall stones were found in 26 (28.9%) patients. There was no sex difference, but the incidence increased with age from 13.2% at under 20 years to 75% at 30 years and over. The mean serum cholesterol and total and unconjugated bilirubin concentrations were not significantly different between patients with and without gall stones. As most (80.8%) stones were radiolucent they were probably of pigment type, containing little or no calcium, and further investigation into how they are produced is needed. Sickle cell patients with acute abdominal crisis should have gall bladder disease excluded before a diagnosis of vascular crisis is made.
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