Asymptomatic Gangrenous Cholecystitis Discovered During Elective Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Darren Porter, Conor Warren, Hisham Hurreiz

Abstract


Gangrenous cholecystitis (GC) is a serious complication of acute cholecystitis. It is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. A male with type 2 diabetes mellitus had been treated for acute cholecystitis and discharged home. The patient was admitted electively for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy 6 weeks post discharge at which time he was entirely asymptomatic. Intra-operatively the gallbladder was found to be necrotic but it was removed laparoscopically and without complication. Acute cholecystitis is the most common complication of cholelithiasis occurring in approximately 1-2% of asymptomatic patients annually; however, in approximately 2-29.6% of patients, the disease processes to GC. GC is associated with a significant morbidity and mortality; however, in spite of its grave prognosis, its diagnosis can be elusive both clinically and biochemically. Many factors have been implicated in the formation of GC, including diabetes mellitus, age is greater than or equal to 51 years, male sex, leucocytosis (WCC > 15 × 109) and a high CRP. Complications associated with GC include perforation, which has been reported to occur in up to 10% of cases of acute cholecystitis. When managing a patient with acute cholecystitis, a high index of suspicion is essential for the possibility of GC, especially in a diabetic and elderly patient even if the patient appears to be improving clinically and in the presence of normalizing laboratory investigations. There is a need to consider early or emergency cholecystectomy in these patients due to the high risk of gangrenous transformation with possibility of gallbladder perforation and a resultant increased morbidity and mortality.




J Med Cases. 2014;5(11):576-578
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jmc1530w

Keywords


Gangrenous cholecystitis; Asymptomatic; Increased morbidity and mortality; Early cholecystectomy

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