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World J Gastroenterol. Apr 7, 2010; 16(13): 1555-1557
Published online Apr 7, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i13.1555
Ezetimbe as potential treatment for cholesterol gallstones: The need for clinical trials
Mohamed H Ahmed
Mohamed H Ahmed, Chemical Pathology Department, Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust, Southampton SO16 6YD, United Kingdom
Author contributions: Ahmed MH wrote the paper.
Correspondence to: Mohamed H Ahmed, MD, PhD, Chemical Pathology Department, Mail point 6-Level D, South Academic Block, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Southampton SO16 6YD, United Kingdom. elziber@yahoo.com
Telephone: +44-23-80793465 Fax: +44-23-80796339
Received: November 27, 2009
Revised: December 24, 2009
Accepted: December 31, 2009
Published online: April 7, 2010

Obesity is associated with insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and gallstones. High fat diets (unsaturated fats) rich in cholesterol have been demonstrated to produce not only gallstones but also NAFLD and insulin resistance. Interestingly, a high incidence of gallstones is being reported in association with insulin resistance and NAFLD. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the best definitive therapy for symptomatic gallbladder disease. Ezetimibe is a drug that inhibits the absorption of both dietary and biliary cholesterol in the small intestine. Importantly, ezetimibe showed potential benefit not only in treating and preventing gallstones but also in insulin resistance and NAFLD. Further studies are required before the use of ezetimibe for the treatment of gallstones can be advocated.

Keywords: Ezetimibe, Gallstones, Insulin resistance, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease