The variations which occur in the Cholesterol content of the blood in pathological conditions have been the subject of much investigation,
and in no condition have more divergent results been
obtained than in Cholelithiasis. Many workers have
found a definite hypercholesterinaemia associated
with the presence of gallstones, while others have
been unable to confirm this.
It seemed, therefore, that it would be of
great interest to estimate the blood Cholesterol in
gallstone cases, both before and after operation,
with the following aims:-
(i) To determine whether a hypercholesterinaemia occurs in patients who have gallstones, and if so, whether this fact is of
practical value in regard to diagnosis.
(ii) To observe the effect upon the blood Cholesterol of the various operations undertaken for the relief of pathological conditions of the gall-bladder.
It was hoped that thereby some light might be thrown
upon the, as yet»uncertain relationship between the
gall-bladder and the metabolism of Cholesterol. The
possibility that this organ may play an important
part in Cholesterol metabolism has long been recognised, but although much work has been done on this
subject very little that is definite has emerged.
Recent work has given strong support to the belief
that the gall-bladder has some more important function than that of a reservoir and pressure regulating mechanism, and if this function is concerned
with the lipoid Cholesterol it is reasonable to suppose that the removal of the organ would produce
consistent changes in the Cholesterol content of the