Acute Acalculous Cholecystitis

Posted by e-Medical PPT
Acalculous cholecystitis is cholecystitis without stones. It accounts for 5 to 10% of cholecystectomies done for acute cholecystitis. Risk factors include the following:
    *Critical illness (eg, major surgery, burns, sepsis, or trauma)
    *Prolonged fasting or TPN (both predispose to bile stasis)
    *Immune deficiency
    *Vasculitis (eg, SLE, polyarteritis nodosa)
The mechanism probably involves inflammatory mediators released because of ischemia, infection, or bile stasis. Sometimes an infecting organism can be identified (eg, Salmonella sp or cytomegalovirus in immunodeficient patients). In young children, acute acalculous cholecystitis tends to follow a febrile illness without an identifiable infecting organism.
The symptoms are similar to those of acute cholecystitis with gallstones but may be difficult to identify because patients tend to be severely ill (eg, ICU setting) and may be unable to communicate clearly. Abdominal distention or unexplained fever may be the only clue. Untreated, the disease can rapidly progress to gallbladder gangrene and perforation, leading to sepsis, shock, and peritonitis; mortality approaches 65%.
Acute acalculous cholecystitis is suggested if a patient has no gallstones but has ultrasonographic Murphy's sign or a thickened gallbladder wall and pericholecystic fluid. A distended gallbladder, biliary sludge, and a thickened gallbladder wall without pericholecystic fluid (due to low albumin or ascites) may result simply from a critical illness. CT identifies extrabiliary abnormalities. Cholescintigraphy is more helpful; failure of a radionuclide to fill may indicate edematous cystic duct obstruction.

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