A mechanical model for CCK induced acalculous gallbladder pain

W.G. Li, X.Y. Luo, N.A. Hill, R. W. Ogden, A. Smythe, A. Majeed, N. Bird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the potential correlation between acalculous biliary pain and mechanical stress during the bile-emptying phase. This study is built on the previously developed mathematical model used to estimate stress in the gallbladder wall during emptying [Li, W. G., X. Y. Luo, et al. Comput. Math. Methods Med. 9(1):27–45, 2008]. Although the total stress was correctly predicted using the previous model, the contribution from patient-specific active stress induced by the cholecystokinin (CCK) test was overlooked. In this article, we evaluate both the active and passive components of pressure in a gallbladder, which undergoes isotonic refilling, isometric contraction and emptying during the infusion of CCK. The pressure is estimated from in vivo ultrasonographical scan measurements of gallbladder emptying during CCK tests, assuming that the gallbladder is a thin ellipsoidal membrane. The passive stress is caused by the volume and shape changes during refilling at the gallbladder basal pressure, whereas the active stress arises from the pressure rise during the isometric gallbladder contraction after the CCK infusion. The effect on the stress estimates of the gallbladder to the liver is evaluated to be small by comparing numerical simulations of a gallbladder model with and without a rigid ‘flat top’ boundary. The model was applied to 51 subjects, and the peak total stress was found to have a strong correlation with the pain stimulated by CCK, as measured by the patient pain score questionnaires. Consistent with our previous study for a smaller sample, it is found that the success rate in predicting of CCK-induced pain is over 75%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-800
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • gallbladder
  • active stress
  • passive stress
  • acalculous biliary pain
  • emptying
  • refilling
  • isometric contraction
  • isotonic refilling
  • CCK


Dive into the research topics of 'A mechanical model for CCK induced acalculous gallbladder pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this