Outcomes of Xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis in laparoscopic era: A retrospective Cohort study.

Abdul Rehman Alvi, Agha Khan University
Imran Jalbani, Aga Khan University
Murtaza G
Aamir Hameed, Aga Khan University


Introduction: Xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis (XGC) is a rare variant of cholecystitis and reported incidence of XGC varies from different geographic region from 0.7% -9%. Most of the clinicians are not aware of the pathology and less evidence is available regarding the optimal treatment of this less common form of cholecystitis in the present era of laparoscopic surgery.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in a tertiary care university hospital from 1989 to 2009. Histopathologically confirmed XGC study patients (N=27) were compared with non-Xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis (NXGC) control group (N=27). The outcomes variables were operative time, complication rate and laparoscopic to open cholecystectomy conversion rate. The study group (XGC) was further divided in to three sub groups; group I open cholecystectomy (OC), laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) and laparoscopic converted to open cholecystectomy (LCO) for comparative analysis to identify the significant variables.

RESULTS: During the study period 6878 underwent cholecystectomy including open cholecystectomy in 2309 and laparoscopic cholecystectomy in 4569 patients. Histopathology confirmed xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis in 30 patients (0.43% of all cholecystectomies) and 27 patients qualified for the inclusion criterion. Gallbladder carcinoma was reported in 100 patients (1.45%) during the study period and no association was found with XGC. The mean age of patients with XGC was 49.8 year (range: 29-79), with male to female ratio of 1:3. The most common clinical features were abdominal pain and tenderness in right hypochondrium. Biliary colic and acute cholecystitis were the most common preoperative diagnosis. Ultrasonogram was performed in all patients and CT scan abdomen in 5 patients. In study population (XGC), 10 were patients in group I, 8 in group II and 9 in group III. Conversion rate from laparoscopy to open was 53 % (n=9), surgical site infection rate of 14.8% (n=4) and common bile duct injury occurred one patient in open cholecystectomy group (3.7%). Statistically significant differences between group I and group II were raised total leukocyte count: 10.6±3.05 vs. 7.05±1.8 (P-Value 0.02) and duration of surgery in minutes: 248.75±165 vs. 109±39.7 (P-Value 0.04). The differences between group III and group II were duration of surgery in minutes: 208.75±58 vs. 109±39.7 (P-Value 0.03) and duration of symptoms in days: 3±1.8 vs. 9.8±8.8 (P-Value 0.04). The mean hospital stay in group I was 9.7 days, group II 5.6 days and in group III 10.5 days. Two patients underwent extended cholecystectomy based on clinical suspicion of carcinoma. No mortality was observed in this study population. Duration of surgery was higher in XGC group as compared to controls (NXGC) (203±129 vs.128±4, p-value=0.008) and no statistically significant difference in incidence proportion of operative complication rate were observed among the group (25.9% vs. 14.8%, p-value=0.25. Laparoscopic surgery was introduced in 1994 and 17 patients underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy and higher conversion rate from laparoscopic to open cholecystectomy was observed in 17 study group (XGC) as compared to 27 Control group (NXGC) 53%vs.3.3% with P-value of < 0.023.

CONCLUSION: XGC is a rare entity of cholecystitis and preoperative diagnosis is a challenging task. Difficult dissection was encountered in open as well in laparoscopic cholecystectomy with increased operation time. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was carried out with high conversion rate to improve the safety of procedure. Per operative clinical suspicion of malignancy was high but no association of XGC was found with gallbladder carcinoma, therefore frozen section is recommended before embarking on radical surgery.