Complications of cholecystitis: a comprehensive contemporary imaging review
Kiran Maddu, Sonia Phadke, Carrie Hoff
Emerg Radiol . 2021 Oct;28(5):1011-1027. doi: 10.1007/s10140-021-01944-z. Epub 2021 Jun 10.
Acute cholecystitis is a common cause of right upper quadrant pain in patients presenting to the emergency department. Ultrasound, computed tomography, HIDA scans, and magnetic resonance imaging are increasingly utilized to evaluate suspected cases. The prognosis of acute cholecystitis is usually excellent with timely diagnosis and management. However, complications associated with cholecystitis pose a considerable challenge to the clinician and radiologist. Complications of acute cholecystitis may result from secondary bacterial infection or mural ischemia secondary to increased intramural pressure. The recognized subtypes of complicated cholecystitis are hemorrhagic, gangrenous, and emphysematous cholecystitis, as well as gallbladder perforation. Acute acalculous cholecystitis is a form of cholecystitis that occurs as a complication of severe illness in the absence of gallstones or without gallstone-related inflammation. Complicated cholecystitis may cause significant morbidity and mortality, and early diagnosis and recognition play a pivotal role in the management and early surgical planning. As appropriate utilization of imaging resources plays an essential role in diagnosis and management, the emergency radiologist should be aware of the spectrum of complications related to cholecystitis and the characteristic imaging features. This article aims to offer a comprehensive contemporary review of clinical and cross-sectional imaging findings of complications associated with cholecystitis. In conclusion, cross-sectional imaging is pivotal in identifying the complications related to cholecystitis. Preoperative detection of this complicated cholecystitis can help the care providers and operating surgeon to be prepared for a potentially more complicated procedure and course of recovery.
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