Ultrasonography.  2019 Jul;38(3):221-230. 10.14366/usg.18029.

Comet tail artifact on ultrasonography: is it a reliable finding of benign gallbladder diseases?

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiology, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea. hanhy@eulji.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the comet tail artifact on ultrasonography can be used to reliably diagnose benign gallbladder diseases.
METHODS
This retrospective study reviewed the clinical findings, imaging findings, preoperative ultrasonographic diagnoses, and pathological diagnoses of 150 patients with comet tail artifacts who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy with pathologic confirmation. The extent of the involved lesion was classified as localized or diffuse, depending on the degree of involvement and the anatomical section of the gallbladder that was involved. This study evaluated the differences in clinical and imaging findings among pathologic diagnoses.
RESULTS
All gallbladder lesions exhibiting the comet tail artifact on ultrasound examination were confirmed as benign gallbladder diseases after cholecystectomy, including 71 cases of adenomyomatosis (47.3%), 74 cases of chronic cholecystitis (49.3%), two cases of xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis (1.3%), and three cases of cholesterolosis (2.0%); there were two cases of coexistent chronic cholecystitis and low-grade dysplasia. There were no statistically significant differences in any of the clinical and ultrasonographic findings, with the exception of gallstones (P=0.007), among the four diseases. There were no significant differences in the average length, thickness, or number of comet tail artifacts among the four diagnoses. No malignancies were detected in any of the 150 thickened gallbladder lesions.
CONCLUSION
The ultrasonographic finding of the comet tail artifact in patients with thickened gallbladder lesions is associated with the presence of benign gallbladder diseases, and can be considered a reliable sign of benign gallbladder disease.

Keyword

Gallbladder; Ultrasonography; Artifact

MeSH Terms

Artifacts*
Cholecystectomy
Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic
Cholecystitis
Diagnosis
Gallbladder Diseases*
Gallbladder*
Gallstones
Humans
Retrospective Studies
Tail*
Ultrasonography*
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