BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gallstones. X-ray of gallstones (lumps, lower left) in the gallbladder (white, centre). Gallstones are hard deposits of cholesterol that form due to an imbalance between bile and cholesterol levels. They can cause sharp pain in the abdomen, and may lead to infection. The gallbladder is a small organ that stores bile produced by the liver until it is needed. The bile is released during digestion to emulsify fats. Gallstones are most common in obese people and the elderly. A tube used to inject contrast medium for the X-ray is at right.
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