Emergent laparoscopic cholecystectomy for acute acalculous cholecystitis revisited
Acute cholecystitis is one of the most frequent causes for emergency admissions to General Surgery Departments. Due to the increased morbidity and high-risk of mortality, patients with severe underlying disease or a debilitated general condition are initially treated conservatively by administration of antibiotics, decompression, and drainage of the gallbladder. Percutaneous cholecystostomy (PC) is a minimally invasive method of percutaneous placement of a catheter, under ultrasound guidance, in the gallbladder lumen. PC can be performed at the bed-side and help the patient as well as physicians searching for a site and cause of sepsis. Dynamic ultrasound visualization of the puncture needle and gallbladder is crucial to avoid complications. PC cholecystectomy is an efficacious procedure with reported clinical response rates of 56%-100%. Clinical response is considered when a decrease in white blood cell count, defervescence, and decrease in the need for vasopressors are present. Patients with gallstones and symptoms and signs localized to the right upper quadrant are more likely to respond. Mortality is associated mainly with the underlying medical conditions. Ultrasound-guided PC can be followed by elective cholecystectomy at a later stage if the patient's condition permits, or by expectant or conservative management in those with acalculous cholecystitis.