Autonomic denervation in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and isolated REM-sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) could impede gallbladder function leading to increased fasting gallbladder volume (fGBV) and higher risk of gallstones. We aimed to determine fGBV in patients with PD, iRBD, and healthy controls (HCs).
We included 189 subjects; 100 patients with PD, 21 with iRBD, and 68 HCs. fGBV was determined from abdominal CT scans, and radiopaque gallstone frequency was evaluated.
Median fGBV was 35.7 ml in patients with PD, 31.8 ml in iRBD, and 27.8 ml in HCs (Kruskal-Wallis test: P = 0.0055). Post-tests adjusted for multiple comparison revealed a significant group difference between patients with PD and HCs (P = 0.0038). In the PD group, 23% had enlarged fGBV (cut-off at mean + 2 x standard deviation (SD) in the HC group). No difference in fGBV was observed between iRBD and the other two groups. The total prevalence of gallstones was 6.4% with no differences between the three groups.
Almost a quarter of patients with PD in our cohort exhibited increased fGBV. This study illuminates a potentially overlooked topic in PD research and calls for more studies on biliary dysfunction.

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