Abstract

The "tumbling gallstone sign" is a diagnostic imaging finding described on radiologic examinations of the abdomen, in patients with cholelithiasis associated with intermittent episodes of gallstone obstructive ileus.  Best seen on serial radiographs or CT studies of the abdomen, this sign indicates a sudden change in position of the gallstone(s) within the intestinal lumen from the upper segments of the bowel to the lower segments of the bowel, causing transient mechanical bowel obstruction.  The tumbling gallstone sign has been likened to that of the classic childrens' tumbling tower balancing game.  On repeat CT scans, the dislodged gallstone(s) may be seen proceeding distally and impact in the ileum at a level lower than that seen on the previous CT scans, analogous to the tumbling gallstone sign. 


 


 


 

Keywords

ileus, gallstone, gallbladder, sign, cholelithiasis