cholesterol gallstones

Last reviewed 01/2018

Cholesterol gallstones result from secretion by the liver of bile supersaturated with cholesterol. Cholesterol is insoluble in water and is held in solution by the detergent action of bile acids and phospholipids with which it forms micelles. An excess of cholesterol relative to bile salts and phospholipids causes the cholesterol to precipitate out and grow into macroscopic stones.