Acute cholecystitis is an acute inflammation of the gallbladder.
Obstruction of the gallbladder neck or cystic duct by a gallstone results in increased pressure in the gallbladder. The degree of obstruction and the duration of the obstruction determine the progression to acute cholecystitis
Inflammation is initially sterile in majority but secondary infection with enteric organisms (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, and Streptococcus faecalis) may complicate the clinical course in up to 50% of patients (primary infection is not believed to play an initial role in cholecystitis) (1,3).
Overall there are more female patients with acute cholecystitis due to the high incidence of gallstones in females.
Acute cholecystitis is as a surgical emergency that must be distinguished from acute biliary colic.
Last reviewed 01/2018