Accelerating gallstone dissolution

J. C. Tao, E. L. Cussler, D. F. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The dissolution rates of cholesterol in model bile salt solutions are controlled by diffusion in slowly flowing bile and by interfacial kinetics in rapidly flowing bile. At low flow, dissolution varies with the square root of bile flow and can be predicted, a priori, from existing correlations of mass transfer. At high bile flow, dissolution is independent of bile flow and is probably dominated by the rate of micelle adsorption. These results show that cholesterol gallstone dissolution, a potential nonsurgical therapy for cholelithiasis, can be accelerated little in slow bile, but more significantly in rapidly flowing bile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3917-3921
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1974
Externally publishedYes


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