Gallbladder & extrahepatic bile ducts

Gallbladder nonneoplastic

Hydrops / mucocele

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Minor changes: 30 December 2020

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Hydrops mucocele

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
Page views in 2020: 2,887
Page views in 2021 to date: 2,524
Cite this page: Gulwani H. Hydrops / mucocele. website. Accessed September 20th, 2021.
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
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