Miscellaneous nontumor
Hydrops / mucocele

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

Revised: 10 August 2018, last major update September 2012

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

PubMed Search: Hydrops mucocele

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Cite this page: Gulwani, H. Hydrops / mucocele. website. Accessed January 21st, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Distended gallbladder containing clear and watery (hydrops) or mucoid secretions (mucocele), instead of bile
  • Adult cases almost always due to impacted stones in ampulla or cystic duct
  • Rarely due to regional tumors causing compression
  • Pediatric cases associated with Kawasaki syndrome or other inflammatory narrowing of cystic duct
  • Mucoceles that perforate may cause pseudomyxoma peritonei
Case reports
Gross description
  • Thickened gallbladder wall
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Fibrous replacement of muscular wall
  • Rarely muciphages simulating signet ring cell adenocarcinoma

  • Thin wall with flattened epithelium and sparse inflammation