Percutaneous cholecystostomy for acute cholecystitis in critically ill patients

Ugo Boggi, Giulio Di Candio, Alessandro Campatelli, Marco Oleggini, Andrea Pietrabissa, Franco Filipponi, Rosario Bellini, Dionisia Mazzotta, Franco Mosca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND/AIMS: The aim of this study was to ascertain the therapeutic efficacy of percutaneous cholecystostomy in a selected group of high-risk patients who were physiologically unable to tolerate an open procedure. METHODOLOGY: We reviewed the hospital records of 11 critically ill patients who underwent percutaneous cholecystostomy for acute cholecystitis during the intensive care unit course of major underlying diseases. RESULTS: Percutaneous cholecystostomy was easily performed in all cases (feasibility rate: 100%). No procedure-related death was recorded and minor complications occurred in 2 patients (18%). Percutaneous cholecystostomy led to resolution of the sepsis in all but 1 patient with gangrenous calcolous cholecystitis who required emergent cholecystectomy (success rate: 91%). Percutaneous cholecystostomy was the permanent treatment in all patients with acalcolous cholecystitis. Among patients with calcolous cholecystitis, 4 underwent delayed elective cholecystectomy, 1 required no further treatment, and 2 eventually died from the evolution of their underlying diseases. After a mean follow-up of 25 months (range: 12-32 months), none of the patients managed non-operatively required surgery or re-hospitalization. CONCLUSIONS: Ease of performance, low complication rate, and high success rate make percutaneous cholecystostomy the procedure of choice for critically ill patients with acute cholecystitis. Whenever possible, percutaneous cholecystostomy should be followed by elective cholecystectomy. However, especially in acalcolous cholecystitis, it may constitute the definitive treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-125
Number of pages5
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Cholecystitis
  • Critically ill patients
  • Gallbladder ultrasound
  • Percutaneous cholecystostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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