Emphysematous cholecystitis: a report of three cases

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Jorge A. Obeid
Alejandro García Hevia
Aída V. Canga
Pablo M. Fernández


Background: Emphysematous cholecystitis (EC) is a rare presentation of acute cholecystitis.
Material and methods: We report three cases of EC in two men and one woman between 55 and 79 years. One of the patients was otherwise healthy while the other two were diabetics. A computed tomography (CT) scan was performed in all the cases. Two patients underwent video-assisted lapa- roscopic cholecystectomy with favorable outcome and one patient underwent percutaneous chole- cystostomy.
Discussion: Emphysematous cholecystitis is characterized by the presence of gas in the gallbladder lu- men or wall. Mortality rate is 50%. Most patients are diabetics, but EC may present in younger patients without risk factors. Computed tomography scan is the method of choice for the diagnosis. Cholecys- tectomy is indicated as definite treatment, but percutaneous cholecystostomy may be a valid option.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy and antibiotics are effective and safe to treat.


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Obeid, J. A., García Hevia, A., Canga, A. V., & Fernández, P. M. (2021). Emphysematous cholecystitis: a report of three cases. Revista Argentina De Cirugía, 112(1), 43–50. https://doi.org/10.25132/raac.v112.n1.1441.es (Original work published March 22, 2021)
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