|Budget Amount *help
¥2,600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,600,000)
Fiscal Year 2000 : ¥700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥700,000)
Fiscal Year 1999 : ¥900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥900,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,000,000)
Medical (oral bile acid) therapy for gallstone disease requires long time and is often ineffective. Therefore, development of more effective pharmacologic therapy is expected. We have previously found that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the major constituent of fish oil, exerts inhibitory effects on cholesterol gallstone formation. In the present study, we aimed to clarify both experimentally and clinically whether EPA can dissolve cholesterol gallstone. We firstly examined the effect of EPA in an animal model of gallstone. Addition of EPA to lithogenic diet in hamsters with cholesterol gallstones resulted in increases in biliary phospholipids and significant reduction in total gallstone weight (partial dissolution), compared with the lithogenic diet alone. We next examined the clinical efficacy, of EPA in patients with gallbladder stones. It was revealed that oral administration of EPA (1800 mg/day) for 6 months significantly increased the biliary phospholipid levels and improved the lithogenic indices (cholesterol saturation index and crystal observation time) in bile, compared with the baseline data. Furthermore, complete stone dissolution was achieved in two cases and partial dissolution in another 1 case by continuing the EPA administration for more, than a year. In summary, this study demonstrated both experimentally and clinically a novel dissolving effect of fish oil (EPA) on cholesterol gallstone.