International Journal of Environmental Research

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 961–976 | Cite as

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Concentration Levels in Human Gallbladder Stones and Gallbladder Tissues in Jordan

  • Sharif Arar
  • Mahmoud AlawiEmail author
  • Mohammed Kailani
  • Samer Alawideh
Research paper


The concentration levels of 12 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in human gallbladder tissue and gallbladder stone samples gathered from patients in the Jordan University Hospital were measured. The total mean concentration of PCBs in gallbladder tissues samples was 491.36 µg/kg wet weight. The total mean concentration of PCBs in gallbladder stone samples was 504.03 µg/kg. Pentachlorobiphenyls were predominant PCB congeners, accounting for 23.85% of the total PCB concentration found in gallbladder tissue samples and 25.48% in gallbladder stone samples which represent the most toxic compound between all congeners dioxin-like PCBs. The TEQ values for PCBs in all samples were found in the range of (0.0001–11.72) µg TEQ/kg for gallbladder tissue samples and (0.00–12.84) µg TEQ/kg for gallbladder stone samples. The distribution coefficients of PCBs were calculated between gallbladder stones and gallbladder tissues in each sample. Kd (Cstone/Ctissue) values for PCBs were found in the range 0.22–3.18. The variations in Kd were found to be dependent mainly on type of gallbladder stone and obesity of patient. The results of this study show that both gallbladder stones and gallbladder tissues can be used to assess levels of background contamination especially if the stone was of pure cholesterol type (lipophilicity of the stones). Also a correlation between PCB concentrations and dysplasia in few samples implied that PCBs could be a potential contribution factor to gallbladder tissue mutations. This needs to be generalized by an extensive future study on representative number of gallbladder tissues with dysplasia.


  • Gallbladder tissues and stones of the same patient were analyzed for PCBs.

  • 39 tissues and 39 stones were studied.

  • Total mean concentrations of PCBs in both types of samples were almost identical.

  • Variations in Kd (distribution coefficient) were found to be dependent on the type of gallbladder stone and on obesity.

  • Both gallbladder stones and gallbladder tissues can be used as good indicators for pollution.

  • Strong correlation between PCBs and dysplasia in few samples was found.


PCBs Gallbladder tissues Gallbladder stones Pollution Toxicity equivalency (TEQ) Jordan 



The authors would like to thank the Deanship of Scientific Research at the University of Jordan for the financial support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This project is ethically approved by the Institution Review Board Committee of the University of Jordan (Ref: 16/2015/7514).


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Copyright information

© University of Tehran 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Science, Department of ChemistryUniversity of JordanAmman 11942Jordan

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