Clinical Presentation, Imaging, and Management of Acute Cholecystitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Acute cholecystitis (AC) is a life-threatening emergency that commonly occurs as a complication of gallstones. Severe right upper quadrant pain, abdominal guarding, fever, and a positive Murphy's sign with an elevated white blood cell count are the classical clinical manifestations of AC. Although ultrasonography is typically the initial diagnostic examination in patients with suspected AC, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are commonly performed to identify complications; cholescintigraphy is recommended in patients with equivocal findings on the other imaging modalities, as this technique has the highest diagnostic accuracy in the diagnosis of AC. Imaging studies are also helpful in the timely detection of complications associated with AC. Although laparoscopic cholecystectomy is considered the gold-standard treatment for AC, percutaneous gallbladder drainage with or without cholecystostomy tube placement is a safe, effective management technique for surgically high-risk patients with multiple medical conditions. This treatment can be used as either a bridging therapy, with elective cholecystectomy performed at a later time after improvement of the patient's condition, or as definitive treatment in surgically unfit patients. Radiologists play a pivotal role in the initial diagnosis and management of patients with AC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-265
Number of pages10
JournalTechniques in Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Aspiration
  • Cholecystitis
  • Drainage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical Presentation, Imaging, and Management of Acute Cholecystitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this