Acute cholecystitis

Author: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 5 October 2018, last major update September 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Acute cholecystitis[TI] gallbladder[TI] full text[sb]

See also: Acute calculous cholecystitis, Acute acalculous cholecystitis
Cite this page: Gulwani, H. Acute cholecystitis. website. Accessed December 16th, 2018.
Definition / general

Cocaine related:
  • Cholecystectomy
Gross description
  • Enlarged, distended gallbladder
  • Congested vessels ("angry red color"), serosal and mucosal exudate, thickened wall with edema and hemorrhage
  • Ulcers with blood clot, pus and bile
Gross images

Images hosted on other servers:

Red mucosa

Acute (with
empyema) and
chronic cholecystitis
with gallstone

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Initially edema, congestion, hemorrhage, fibrin deposition in and around muscular layer
  • Later mucosal and mural necrosis with neutrophils
  • Variable reactive epithelial changes resembling dysplasia
  • Finally myofibroblastic proliferation with chronic inflammatory infiltrate
  • Also fresh thrombi within small veins
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Reactive changes in acute cholecystitis

Differential diagnosis