Acalculous Cholecystitis: Is an Elective Interval Cholecystectomy Necessary

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Abstract

Background: Acute acalculous cholecystitis (AAC) accounts for 5-10% of cases of acute cholecystitis. The advantage of interval cholecystectomy for patients with AAC is unclear. Therefore, a retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with AAC at our institution was performed over a 5-year period. Methods: Patients were identified via hospital coding using the keywords “acalculous cholecystitis, cholecystostomy and gall bladder perforation.” Follow-up data was obtained by performing a retrospective review of the patients' hospital records. Results: A total of 33 patients with AAC were identified and followed for a median period of 18 months. The median age at presentation was 70 (10-96) and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade was 3 (1-5). Twenty-three patients (70%) were treated with antibiotics alone, 7 patients (21%) with percutaneous cholecystostomy and 3 patients (9%) with laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The 90-day mortality rate was 30% with significant correlation to comorbid status, as all deaths occurred in ASA grade 3-5 individuals (p = 0.020). Two patients (6%) developed recurrent AAC and were managed non-operatively. Conclusion: Antibiotics and cholecystostomy were the mainstay of AAC management, and comorbid status influenced related mortality. Our results suggest that it appears safe to avoid interval cholecystectomy in patients who recover from AAC, as they are typically high-risk surgical candidates.

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