The surface of the X-ray shadow of the gallbladder was determined by a planimeter in 100 random patients examined for complaints suggesting gallbladder disease, in whom the viscus was well visualized and no gallstones were discernible. No correlation was found between the gallbladder size and body surface or sex.
The mean surface of the gallbladder shadow in thirty-two diabetic patients was significantly larger than the mean surface in forty-three nondiabetic individuals. The frequency of large gallbladders (over 24 sq. cm.) was higher among the diabetic than the nondiabetic individuals.
Elimination of twenty-seven diabetic and nondiabetic patients with clinical signs of cholecystitis, duodenal ulcer or gastroduodenitis did not alter the relationship between the gallbladder size and presence of diabetes, found for the whole group.
In some diabetic patients the large gallbladder may be a manifestation of biliary dyskinesia due to autonomic neuropathy (“diabetic neurogenie gallbladder”). A search for diabetes is justified in patients with a large gallbladder.