Acalculous cholecystitis: Three Case Reports

  • S. G. Mungazi
  • H. Mungani
Keywords: acalculous cholecystitsi, gangrenous cholecystitis, cholecystectomy


Acute acalculous cholecystitis is an acute necroinflammatory disease of the gallbladder. Whilst acalculous cholecystitis accounts for approximately 10 percent of acute cholecystitis cases it is associated with a high morbidity and mortality.The condition rapidly progresses to complications such as gangrene, perforation and empyema of the gallbladder. Gangrenous cholecystitis is the most severe form and complication of acute cholecystitis. Acute acalculous cholecystitis warrants urgent surgical intervention to prevent catastrophic outcomes. We report a series of three patients that we managed for acute acalculous cholecystitis. The first patient was a 65-year-old, male who was positive of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) with a CD4 count of 165 cells/mm3 and was on antiretroviral treatment. The second patient was a 73-year-old male with no comorbidities. The last patient was a 72-year-old female with congestive cardiac failure due to hypertension. One patient had a successful laparoscopic cholecystectomy and the other two had open cholecystectomies. Two of the patients did well and were discharged whilst the third patient died in intensive care unit day 2 postoperatively. All the three patients had no evidence of gallbladder stones. Two of the histology reports confirmed acalculous gangrenous cholecystitis and the third histology showed acalculous haemorrhagic cholecystitis. Acalculous cholecystitis is a surgical emergency. Once suspected, principles of management include resuscitation, hospital admission, broad spectrum antibiotics, adequate analgesia and emergency surgery.


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