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The aim was to enable prediction of risk for conversion in early laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis.Multivariate analysis and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis were used to define independent predictors for conversion and optimal cutoffs. Using those, a scoring system was created to predict conversion.In 261 patients, conversion to open cholecystectomy was necessary in 62 cases (24%). Multivariate analysis revealed age and C-reactive protein (CRP) level to be independent predictors for conversion (odds ratio 1.02; P=0.02 and odds ratio 1.01; P<0.001). Using cutoffs obtained by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis resulted in an useful scoring system to predict conversion risk (age>65 y=1+CRP value>165 mg/L=1): score 0=12%, 1=29%, 2=67% (P<0.001).Higher age and elevated CRP level are independent predictors for conversion. Surgery for acute cholecystitis in patients with age >65 years and/or CRP level >165 mg/L should be considered as high risk for conversion.