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Papers of the Week

2021 Jan 06

BMJ Case Rep



Torsion of the gallbladder: a rare but important differential to consider when treating acute cholecystitis non-operatively.


Ahluwalia A, Allaway M G R, Giga S, Curran R J
BMJ Case Rep. 2021 Jan 06; 14(1).
PMID: 33408103.


A 79-year-old woman presented with postprandial epigastric pain. She had normal vital signs, inflammatory markers and liver function tests. Ultrasound and CT of the abdomen demonstrated features consistent with acute cholecystitis. Her medical comorbidities and extensive abdominal surgical history prompted the decision to treat non-operatively. Despite optimal medical management, worsening abdominal pain and uptrending inflammatory markers developed. She underwent an emergency laparoscopy which revealed a necrotic gallbladder secondary to an anticlockwise complete gallbladder torsion; a rare condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality if managed non-operatively. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was achieved without complication and the patient had an uneventful recovery. Preoperative diagnosis of torsion of the gallbladder is difficult. However, there are certain patient demographics and imaging characteristics that can help surgeons differentiate it from acute cholecystitis; a condition which can be safely managed non-operatively in selected patients. The differentiating features are elaborated on in this case report.