Document Type





OBJECTIVE: To determine the role of ultrasound-guided percutaneous cholecystostomy (PC) regarding complications and outcome in the management of acute cholecystitis in patients high risk for surgery and anaesthesia and not responding to conservative management.

STUDY DESIGN: Observational case series.

PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: The study was carried out at The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, from January 2003 to December 2007.

METHODOLOGY: The study included patients admitted with acute cholecystitis considered unfit for immediate surgery but not responding to conservative management. Percutaneous cholecystostomy was conducted under ultrasound guidance. The studied variables included patients' demographics, co-morbid, ultrasound findings of biliary tree, indication for percutaneous cholecystostomy, its route, complication during or after procedure, patient's clinical outcome (upto 48 hours) and 30 days follow-up. Those with incomplete medical record and follow-up were excluded. Data were analyzed and results compiled using SPSS 16.0 version. Mean and standard deviation for quantitative variable like age was derived. Proportions were computed for complications and patient's clinical outcome.

RESULTS: Forty one patients with complete medical record were studied including 15 (37%) males and 26 (63%) females. Mean age was 65 +/-13.5 years. Indications for PC included calculus cholecystitis in 25, acalculous cholecystitis in 10, empyema in 04 and gallbladder perforation in 02 patients. No complication was seen during or after procedure in 31 (75%) patients. Complications occurred in 10 (25%) patients including vagal reaction, pain during procedure, tube blockage, catheter dislodgement and bile leakage. Favourable clinical response (improvement in clinical symptoms) was noted in 34 (83%) patients. Seven (17%) patients did not show any improvement in clinical condition after the procedure. On 30 days follow-up, 9 patients had undergone cholecystectomy, 5 (12%) patients expired due to underlying clinical conditions and the rest were settled without requiring an immediate cholecystectomy. There was no direct procedure-related mortality.

CONCLUSION: Imaging guided PC is a safe and effective procedure for immediate management of non-resolving acute cholecystitis in patients high risk for surgery and anaesthesia and not responding to conservative management.


Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan

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