Ursodeoxycholic acid in the prevention of gallstones in patients subjected to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Abstract Purpose: To evaluate the contribution of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in the first 12 months after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in the prevention of gallstone formation. Methods: A community-based clinical trial was conducted. A total of 137 patients were included in the study; 69 were treated with UDCA, starting 30 days after the surgery, at a dose of 150 mg twice daily (300 mg/day) over a period of 5 consecutive months (GROUP A), and 68 were control patients (GROUP B). The patients were followed-up, and ultrasonography was performed to determine the presence of gallstones at various times during follow-up. Demographic, anthropometric and comorbid indicators were obtained. The data were subjected to normality tests and evaluated using appropriate tests. Results: Patients did not differ in their baseline characteristics. Of the 69 patients who used UDCA, only one patient developed cholelithiasis (1%), whereas 18 controls (26%) formed gallstones (OR = 24.4, p <0.001). Also, other factors were found not to influence the formation of calculi, such as pre-operative or postoperative hepatic steatosis or diabetes (p = 0.759, 0.468, 0.956). Conclusion: The results demonstrated that patients who did not use UDCA showed a 24.4-fold greater probability of developing cholelithiasis.