Cholecystitis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment


What Do you Mean By Cholecystitis?

Cholecystitis can be defined as gall bladder inflammation. It happens because a gall stone gets firm at the opening of the gall bladder which causes fever, pain, nausea, and other various complications.

Gallstones are involved 95% in these cases which may be initiated from cholesterol, a pigment which is referred to as bilirubin, or a mix of the two. It is triggered by biliary sludge when bile gathers in the biliary ducts. Some of the causes include trauma, serious illness, immunodeficiency. Some chronic conditions like kidney failure, coronary heart disease, or certain types of cancer increase the risk of having cholecystitis.

Acute cholecystitis begins suddenly whereas chronic cholecystitis arises slowly over time. Untreated can result in the aperture of the gall bladder, tissue death and even gangrene, fibrosis, and also the shrinking of the gall bladder.


Cholecystitis occurs when your gall bladder becomes inflamed due to the many etiology that includes:

  1. Gallstones– Cholecystitis is the outcome of hard particles that form in your gallbladder. Gallstones close up the tube through which bile flows when it leaves the gallbladder. Bile build-up that causes inflammation.
  2. Tumor– A tumor may prevent bile from draining out of your gallbladder causing a buildup of bile that results in cholecystitis.
  3. Bile duct blockage– Kinking of the bile ducts can cause blockages that also cause cholecystitis.
  4. Infection– AIDS and certain viral infections can trigger inflammation of the gallbladder.
  5. Blood vessel problem– A severe illness can weaken blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the gall bladder that occurs in cholecystitis.

Sign And Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of cholecystitis involve the right upper quadrant pain, fever, and a rise in white blood cell count. Pain occurs on the side of the gallbladder, in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen.

In acute cholecystitis, the pain starts instantly and it does not go away, it is intense. Left untreated, it gets more dangerous, and breathing in intensely will make it feel more intense. The pain may expand from the abdomen to the right shoulder or even backside. Other indications may include:

  • abdominal bloating
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sweating
  • tenderness on the upper right-hand side of the stomach.

A slight fever and chills are started in acute cholecystitis. After a meal, one that is essential in fat, symptoms will worsen and also a blood test will show a high amount of white blood cell count.


A doctor will investigate if a patient has a history of cholecystitis because it often recurs and also a physical examination will reveal how tender the gallbladder is :

The following test may include:

  • Ultrasound– This can highlight any gallstones which confirm the condition of the gallbladder.
  • Blood test– A high white blood cell count may show an infection whereas it also reveals a high level of bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and also serum aminotransferase which helps the specialist to diagnose the cholecystitis.
  • CT Scan– Image of the gall bladder may confer the sign of cholecystitis.
  • Hepatobiliary Iminodiateic Acid Scan(HIDA)– Also known as cholescintigraphy, the hepatobiliary scans can form images of the liver, gallbladder, and small intestine.

This all assists the doctor to track the generation and flow of bile from the liver to the small intestine and determine whether there is blockage or not or also the site of the blockage.


Treatment for cholecystitis requires a hospital stay to control the inflammation in your gall bladder whereas sometimes surgery is also needed. Treatment may include:

  • Fasting– You may not be permitted to eat or drink at first to take the stress off your infected gall bladder.
  • Fluids through a vein in your arm– It helps to prevent dehydration.
  • Antibiotic to fight infection– Your doctor will order you antibiotics if your gall bladder is affected.
  •  Pain Medication– These can serve to control pain until the inflammation becomes relieved.
  • Procedure to remove stones– This procedure is called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in order to eliminate any stones obstructing the bile ducts.

Gallbladder removal surgery is known as a cholecystectomy. This is a minimally invasive procedure involving a few tiny surgeries in your stomach. An open procedure in which a large incision is made in your abdomen is unusually necessary. Once your gallbladder is eliminated, bile flows from your liver into your small intestine alternately to store in your gallbladder. You don’t necessitate your gallbladder to live.