Epithelial dysplasia of gall bladder is an important precancerous lesion of gall bladder carcinogenesis. To investigate the frequency of K-ras gene mutation in gall bladder carcinoma and dysplasia, K-ras codon 12 mutations were investigated by the polymerase chain reaction/restriction enzyme based method following direct sequencing. Mutation was detected in 59% (30 of 51) of gall bladder carcinomas, in 73% (8 of 11) of gall bladder dysplasia in gall stone cases, and in 0% of the normal gall bladder epithelium. There was, however, no correlation between K-ras mutation and clinicopathological factors of gall bladder carcinoma. K-ras gene mutation occurs even in gall bladder dysplasia at an incidence similar to that in carcinomas, suggesting that testing for K-ras gene mutation may prove useful as an adjunct to bile cytological or biopsy analysis.
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